Game of Thrones has been stunning this year so far, but the behind the scenes drama between hackers and HBO might rival anything we have seen on screen. And it has now taken a new turn.
In emails obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, HBO seems to not only had contact with the hacker groups, but offered a type of ransom payment to them to make it stop. Well, it looks that way. But due to the wording of said emails, the HBO executive wisely makes the payment sound like a payment for finding bugs in their system, like a tech payout, not a payoff.
The HBO executive instead says that the network has “been working hard since [July 23] to review all of the material that you have made available to us. … In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week.” The email continues, “As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin.”
“We also have not been able to put into place the necessary infrastructure to be able to make a large payment in bitcoin, although we are taking steps to do so as you suggested,” the HBO exec says in the email.
Speculation is that this was a stall tactic, and that HBO does not want to set a precedent here. That would open the floodgates. The hackers have claimed to obtain 1.5 terabytes of sensitive data from the network, releasing unaired content from shows like Ballers and Room 104 which has not even begun airing at all yet. They also have released the script for last weeks Game of Thrones ahead of it airing and personal emails from a programming executive. The hackers have also corresponded with The Hollywood Reporter about their motive:
“It’s just about money. We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us…,”
- 11 Photos From Game Of Thrones s7e6 "Beyond The Wall"
- Max Landis: Maybe HBO's Confederate Isn't A Good Idea
- Let's Talk About 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7, Episode 4
- Stephen King Wasn't Involved At All In 'It' Reboot, Didn't Even Get Any Swag
- Game Of Thrones Hits Series High, In Spite Of Leaked Episode
- Mets Pitcher Noah Syndergaard Looks Equally At Home In Westeros And The MCU
- Hackers Threaten More HBO Leaks
- HBO Hacked: Episodes/Scripts Of Game Of Thrones, Room 104 Leaked
- HBO Responds To #NoConfederate Twitter Protest: "We Hope People Will Reserve Judgement"
- George R. R. Martin Optimistic About New Game Of Thrones Book In 2018
- Newest Groupees Bundle Focuses On Game Of Thrones
- SDCC Game of Thrones Panel: Puppies And Not Laughing
- Marvel Legends Take Over SDCC with Tons of Reveals! - July 21, 2018
- Jakks Pacific Brings Harry Potter, Nintendo, WWE, and Batman to SDCC - July 21, 2018
- Star Wars Collectibles from Sideshow, Kotobukiya, Anovos, and More Shown off at SDCC Panel - July 21, 2018
- ‘Halloween’ Thrills and Terrifies Hall H Crowd at SDCC - July 21, 2018
- WWE Collectors Have Tons to Be Excited About: Mattel WWE at SDCC - July 20, 2018