Leaked email shows HBO negotiating with hackers

A group of hackers involved in a cyber-attack on HBO have reportedly demanded $250,000 as ransom

According to Hollywood Reporter, the $250,000 would be a show of good faith for extending the group's initial deadline for a ransom payment.

You might have heard by now that HBO has been hit by a cyberattack. 'In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week'.

San Francisco: In a bid to contain further leaks from a group of hackers, HBO reportedly offered to pay $250,000 to those who stole almost 1.5TB data, including scripts of "Game of Thrones" (GoT) and other employee information, from the TV network.

Whether or not HBO ever meant to follow through with its $250,000 offer, the email raised questions Friday among security professionals about the importance of the data and whether HBO's reaction might encourage future attacks. The message from HBO, dated July 27, features the network's offer to make a "bounty payment" of $250,000 as part of a program in which "white hat IT professionals" are rewarded for "bringing these types of things to our attention". HBO could not be reached for a comment.

In the published version of the ransom message, the hackers redacted the amount of money they demanded.

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They said the HBO Internal Network, emails, technical platforms, and database were penetrated, with "confidential stuff that blaze your eyes" obtained.

Earlier this week, a video circulating online authored by someone identified only as "Mr. Smith" said the hackers had videos, scripts, personnel files and other sensitive data from the breach.

The leaks included scripts from "Game of Thrones" episodes and a month's worth of email from the account of HBO's vice president for film programming. Various sources including an insider source close to CNBC revealed that the $250,000 offer is merely a delay tactic proposed by the HBO team.

HBO has said it was working with forensic experts and law enforcement in response to the attack.

The leaks so far have fallen well short of the chaos inflicted on Sony in 2014. "The next company, whether it's Showtime or Death Row Records or whomever, needs to see that they're going to wake up one day to this reality unless they confront it".

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