HBO gets hacked, episodes of shows leaked online


Like Sony and Yahoo and Target before it, HBO has been hacked. The network released a statement to Entertainment Weekly confirming that it had suffered “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. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”

So what information was stolen? Hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data, although it’s unclear what that consists of. Advance episodes of Ballers and Room 104 have already shown up online, as well as written material about the fourth episode ofGame of Thrones season 7, “The Spoils of War.” The hacker or hackers released their own statement via an anonymous email sent to select reporters:

"Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling."

At the risk of exposing myself to cyber-attack, I’ll say that the person who sent that sounds completely insufferable. “HBO is falling.” Just…why?

Anyway, at the moment, no leaked episodes of Game of Thrones have turned up online, although according to EW, the hacker(s) promised that there’s more “coming soon.”

If advance episodes of season 7 do show up, it wouldn’t be the first time HBO has had this problem. Back in 2015, the first four episodes of season 5 leaked ahead of time. In that instance, the culprit was one of the critics to whom HBO sent advance episodes for review (or someone who got ahold of those episodes). In any case, HBO stopped sending episodes for review after that. It’s also been notoriously secretive about the plot details of upcoming seasons, yet secrets continue to get out. Can the hole ever be plugged?

I dunno, but as HBO CEO Richard Plepler revealed in an email to employees, the network is trying its damndest:

"As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming. Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us. I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean. It is a textbook example of quintessential HBO teamwork. The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of. As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully."

The ratings for Game of Thrones have gone steadily up even as piracy has increased, so that show, at least, seems safe. But it’s never fun to hear of a leak of this size. Here’s hoping HBO gets through it with a minimum of fuss.

Next: Book-Reader’s Recap—Game of Thrones, Episode 703—'The Queen’s Justice'

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