On Monday, a hacker or a group of hackers going by the name ‘Mr. Smith’ leaked a script of the very popular TV show, Game of Thrones on social media. The leaked script belonged to the fifth episode of the ongoing season. The seventh season of the show has already seen a security breach a week ago. The fourth episode of the show was released a few days before the scheduled telecast date.
To stop posting more of what hackers claim to have, they have demanded a ransom. According to Wired, an alleged ransom note by the hacker said, “HBO spends 12 million for market research and 5 million for GOT 7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements.”. Along with Game of Thrones, it is believed that the hackers reportedly possess a pile of unseen data from various other HBO shows like Room 104, Insecure season 2 and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Hackers have all the important documents like financial balance sheets, employment agreements and marketing-strategy in the form of PDFs with words “HBO is falling” embossed on it. Recently, the hackers sent a video depicting an unfurling scroll to the HBO’s chief executive Richard Plepler. According to them, it took them 6 months to breach into the HBO network and so are demanding the ransom as a mere salary for their hard work. New York Times reported that the amount hackers are demanding is whopping $6 million. HBO publicly disclosed the hack on 31st July.
The hackers claimed to have embezzled around 1.5 terabytes of data. However, they have only released around 300 megabytes of data. This is only 0.0002% of the total data they have.
In the past, there have been instances of stealing of data from companies like Netflix and Sony Pictures. Dealing with such security breaches that become exceedingly difficult. Most of the materials involved in the production of a film and television shows getting digitized. However, at the same time, they are getting vulnerable to hackers.
Other Television network that Hackers targeted:
HBO’s Game of Thrones is not the first TV show to get attacked by the hackers. In December 2016, a group of hackers going by the name Dark Overlord, shook Larson Studios. They stole the entire fifth season of the Netflix’s popular show, Orange is the New Black. The hackers demanded 50 bitcoins (around $50,000) from Larson Studios. When the studio paid up the amount, the hackers demanded an additional ransom from Netflix. However, Netflix refused to do so. In response to that, hackers released the stolen episodes in April, weeks before its scheduled release in the second week of June.