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ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2017


HBO Hacker Leaks Message From HBO Offering $250000 'Bounty Payment'

13 August 2017, 03:04 | Myron Mathis

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Larry David

The email was worded in a way that would allow HBO to stall for time while it assessed the situation, Variety reported, citing a source close to HBO's investigation.

HBO did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

An HBO executive allegedly offered to pay the attackers a $250,000 "bug bounty" as part of its programme for "white hat IT professionals".

The message also implores the hacker to extend a ransom-payment deadline for one week while the $250,000 payment is made and the necessary amount of bitcoin can be secured.

"You have the advantage of having surprised us", a member of HBO's technology team said in the July 27 email.


The first HBO hack became publicly known on July 31. A few days after HBO sent the note, the hackers went to the media with details of the breach.

"Hackers are not in this game for US$250,000; this probably took them a lot of time and effort", Goel said.

A person familiar with HBO's response to the attack told Reuters that the company sent the email "as a stall tactic" and had never meant to make the $250,000 payment or pay the full $6 million the hackers had demanded to hold off going public with data stolen from HBO.

The hackers who hit HBO's network also created the website Winter-leak.com, where they posted episode outlines and a script for Game of Thrones episodes that hadn't aired. An automated response was returned with an image of the HBO "bounty" offer, Reuters said.

The leaks so far have fallen well short of the chaos inflicted on Sony in 2014. Companies would be better off investing in preventing email spear-fishing attempts and other hacking techniques, he said. "The next company, whether it's Showtime or Death Row Records or whomever, needs to see that they're going to wake up one day to this reality unless they confront it".



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