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Hackers demand HBO pay MILLIONS in ransom | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

12 Août 2017

It seems HBO is giving in to the demand of the Game of Thrones hackers for millions of dollars in Bitcoin in exchange for not leaking sensitive information.

The news comes as attackers continue to escalate the data breach that the network disclosed last week. The TV network reportedly wanted to pay $250,000 in bitcoins to the attackers, disguised as a bug bounty reward rather than a ransom.

The hackers stole over 3.4 GB of data, which, not only included scripts for future episodes but the personal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the Game of Thrones cast and crew. The hackers, who posted several of HBO's new episodes and a "Game of Thrones" script online in late July, demanded $6 million, a person close to the investigation said. Other documents include a spreadsheet of legal claims and technical data on HBO's internal network.

An HBO representative told Wired that there was no reason to believe the hackers had access to the company's email database.

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In a video directed to HBO's chief executive, Richard Plepler, "Mr. Smith" used white text on a black background to threaten further disclosures if HBO did not pay the ransom.

HBO bosses have called in the FBI to investigate the security breach, while also working with police and cybersecurity experts in an attempt to prevent the release of any more information or unaired episodes.

"[Network has] been working hard since [July 23] to review all of the material that you have made available to us".

Game of Thrones, now in its penultimate season, is the most popular show in HBO's history and has always been a target of digital piracy. HBO doesn't believe the hackers represented by "Mr. Smith" possess actual episodes of Thrones, although they have threatened to release episodes of other series with their "HBO is Falling" logo superimposed. Mandiant was also the one who investigated the 2014 Sony hacking which was allegedly perpetrated by North Korea.

Hackers demand HBO pay MILLIONS in ransom | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV