Game of Thrones hackers demand $7million ransom to protect show's secrets
Hackers have demanded a $7million ransom from HBO or they’ll release secret Game of Thrones files including scripts and personal data pertaining to its stars.
The fantasy drama is currently under seige after hackers broke into HBO’s servers and reportedly stole 1.5 terabytes of data, and have looted a list of personal phone numbers and email addresses for Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Emilia Clark.
A month’s worth of emails from HBO’s vice president for film programming, Leslie Cohen, is also said to be part of the latest leak.
The BBC reports that hackers have released 3.4GB of data and it is all watermarked with the hackers’ motto, ‘HBO is Falling.’
The hackers letter to HBO reportedly states: ‘Our demand is clear and Non-Negotiable: We want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your Data. HBO spends 12 million for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!’
The note, written by ‘Mr. Smith,’ adds that the deadline for that payment is three days from when the letter was sent.
The rest of the letter lists the ways HBO could suffer from the full leak, from upsetting fans to informing competitors.
‘Leakage will be your worst nightmare, so make a wise decision!’ it reads before ending with an image of the Night King villain from Game of Thrones..
In a statement to Wired, HBO spokeperson Jeff Cusson said it is reviewing their security systems and do not believe the hack is as serious as what happened to Sony Pictures in 2014, which caused a huge reputational damage.
He said: ‘The review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised.’
In a separate incident, HBO experienced a security nightmare when a Game of Thrones episode leaked last week before its public TV airing. The leak wasn’t part of the HBO hack, and distribution partner Star India accidentally published it online.
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