Hackers threaten ‘Game of Thrones’, as HBO confirms cyberattack

Unaired episodes of ‘Ballers’ and ‘Room 104’ may have been published, with more leaks promised by the hacker

Jim Broadbent as Archmaester Ebrose John Bradley-West as Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones by HBO. The company has been the target of a cyber attack.  Photograph: HBO/Sky/PA Wire

Jim Broadbent as Archmaester Ebrose John Bradley-West as Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones by HBO. The company has been the target of a cyber attack. Photograph: HBO/Sky/PA Wire

 

HBO has been the target of a cyberattack, and an anonymous hacker has boasted about leaking full episodes of upcoming shows along with written material from next week’s episode of Game of Thrones.

In an email to journalists, the hacker or hackers claimed to have obtained 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. Unaired episodes of Ballers and Room 104 may have been published online, and the hacker vowed more would be “coming soon,” the magazine reported.

HBO did not reveal what data had been stolen or posted online, and there was no immediate indication of whether the breach included customer data or personal information about employees. In a statement, the network said: “HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information. We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms.”

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In an email to employees, Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive, said the stolen information included “some of our programming.” “Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling and disturbing for all of us,” he wrote in the email. He added: “The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of.”

It was not immediately clear what information the hackers had about Game of Thrones, the HBO megahit that has closely guarded its secrets. Now in its seventh season, the show aired its third of seven episodes on Monday.

If hackers succeed in spoiling plot details, it would not be the first time for Game of Thrones. In 2015, the first four episodes of the fifth season were leaked online before they aired. In April, a hacker leaked the upcoming season of Orange is the New Black more than a month before it was scheduled to be released, after Netflix refused ransom requests.

(- NYT service)