HBO responds to Game of Thrones cyber attack

A hacking group have scaled the broadcaster's great fire/ice wall

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HBO has been hit by a major cyber attack, with a network of hackers claiming to have stolen a script from an upcoming Game of Thrones episode.

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The group says it has 1.5 terabytes of the broadcaster’s data and has posted an alleged script of episode 4 of the fantasy drama’s seventh season, currently in mid-run. The hackers have also released episodes of shows Ballers and Room 104 online, with threats that more material would be released soon.

HBO hasn’t commented on what data has been stolen, but said in a statement (via Deadline): “HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information.

“We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”

In an email published by EW, the hackers appeared to offer an interview in exchange for positive coverage of the leak. It read: “Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.” 

The email also contained a series of links to leaked material, with promises of more to follow. Overall, the group has claimed 1.5 TB of content has been stolen, and although considerable, is hardly the equivalent of the 100 terabytes of data stolen from Sony in 2014.

This isn’t the first time Game of Thrones has experienced a leak. In 2015, four episodes of the show were leaked after previews were sent to reviewers, an incident which stopped preview copies being distributed.

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Early this year, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film was stolen by an internet group from Disney, and a network of hackers called ‘The Dark Overlord’ acquired episodes of Orange is the New Black before their Netflix release date. In both of these cases, the hackers held the footage to ransom, a tactic that failed each time.