Leaked Email Reveals HBO in Negotiations With Hackers

Why is 'Game of Thrones' being hacked?

HBO has offered a group that stole 1.5 terabytes of data, including unaired Game of Thrones episodes, a $250,000 "bug bounty" in place of the multi-million ransom they demanded, emails newly released by the hackers show. "The July 27 email was sent by an HBO executive who thanked the hackers for "making us aware" of previously unknown security vulnerabilities". Variety also added citing a source close to the investigation that the email "was worded that way to stall for time while the company attempted to assess the serious situation". The hackers have yet to receive their money, which is why they leaked a purported email exchange with an HBO exec to Hollywood Reporter.

"[HBO has] been working hard since [July 23] to review all of the material that you have made available to us ..." In their initial video to HBO, they requested "six months salary", claiming to make $12 million to $15 million per year.

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Earlier this week, the HBO hackers released phone numbers and email addresses of Game of Thrones cast members, as part of a 3.4GB data dump. That means it's unclear if HBO actually would have gone through with paying the hackers, but it's still surprising even to see the offer be made.

Obtaining that much Bitcoin at short notice is a bit more complicated than getting a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos, so the unnamed HBO executive asked the hackers for an extension to the ransom deadline. The hackers, whose motto is "HBO is Falling", demanded $6 million in bitcoin, the digital currency. With hackers now leaking their communication with the network, it appears they are either trying to embarrass the company even more or are just frustrated with this delay. "We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us".

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