Hackers of US entertainment company HBO – who have released personal phone numbers of Game of Thrones actors, emails and scripts, in the latest dump of data stolen from the company – are demanding a multi-million dollar ransom to prevent the release of whole TV shows and further emails.
In a new dump, they also published a script for the as yet unbroadcast fifth episode of the current series while company documents and video episodes of other HBO shows were also shared.
HBO had last week said it was the victim of a hack that may have leaked as much as 1.5 terabytes of show data, including a script to an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones.
According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, upcoming episodes of a couple series and at least one alleged script or treatment have been put online by hackers who breached the company’s systems — with more threatened to be coming soon.
However, The Guardian reports that in a five-minute video letter addressed to HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, the hackers told the company to pay within three days or they would put online the HBO shows and confidential corporate data they claim to have stolen.
The hackers did not publicly state their desired amount, but the redacted note reads, “Our demand is clear and non-negotiable: we want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your data.”
“HBO spends $12m for market research and $5m for [Game of Thrones series seven] advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements.”
It was signed: “Mr Smith”.
The hackers claim it took six months to break into HBO’s network, and that they spend $500,000 a year purchasing so called zero-day exploits that let them break into networks through holes not yet known to Microsoft and other software companies.