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12 August 2017, 04:39 | Justin Tyler
HBO hackers leak emails, demand payment
HBO reportedly offered $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.6 crores) to the hackers who have leaked unaired episodes, scripts, and personal information so far, according to an email sent to various publications. The hackers have yet to receive their money, which is why they leaked a purported email exchange with an HBO exec to Hollywood Reporter. HBO is not negotiating with the hackers, and the email was merely an attempt to buy some time, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday citing "a person familiar with the matter".
In the message dated July 27, an IT employee said the company has been "working hard" since July 23 and asked the hackers to extend their ransom deadline, before making an offer.
The hackers' ransom demand is "six months salary worth in bitcoin", which given their claim of $12 million (roughly Rs. 76.5 crores) annually, comes to about $6 million (roughly Rs. 38.2 crores).
Variety says the email may have been a stalling tactic, as the email was sent in late July before HBO had fully assessed the extent of the hack. HBO has not publicly commented on their investigation or the "bounty payment".
The hackers claim that they're not criminals, but "white hats" (used to reference people of good and moral standing, or, in computer speak, someone who hacks into a network to evaluate its security). While HBO may have had no intention of paying, it's unusual to see such a huge corporation engaging with a hacker at all.
The fourth episode of Game of Thrones that was leaked last Friday was part of an unrelated incident, involving Star India. "We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us...", they said.
This is the second data dump from the purported hacker.
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