On Monday, HBO suffered what the network called a “cyber incident.”
“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,” the network said in the statement. “Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
Following the cyberattack, Entertainment Weekly reported hackers were able to access 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO and apparently leaked upcoming episodes of Ballers and Room 104. The script for the next airing of Game of Thrones was also leaked online, according to the entertainment news site. HBO did not confirm any particulars about the leak in its Monday morning statement.
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Early Wednesday, cyber security and technology site HackRead reported the supposed HBO hackers published all the stolen data including episodes three (which aired on Sunday) and four of the current season of Game of Thrones and its scripts. Episodes one, two (which have already aired) and three of Ballers Season 3 were also among the posted data.
The cyber security website reported hackers posted the data at a website dubbed WinterLeak. The website boasts that “this is the greatest leak of cyber space era (1.5TB total).” The website also claims “in a complicate operation, we successfully penetrated in to the HBO Internal Network, Emails, technical platforms, and database and got precious and confidential stuff that blaze your eyes.”
HBO and Time Warner did not respond to Global News’ request for comment regarding the posted content.
In an email obtained by Reuters, Chairman Richard Plepler told employees that the hackers had stolen “proprietary information,” including some programming.
In his note on Wednesday, he said that some employees had expressed concern about the email system.
“At this time, we do not believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised, but the forensic review is ongoing,” he said.
Plepler’s note said that HBO would hire an outside firm to provide credit monitoring for employees, but did not explain why.
Entertainment Weekly reported Monday that some reporters were given a heads up about the cyberattack Sunday night, promising an attack on “falling” HBO.
“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,” reads the email, according to Entertainment Weekly. “Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.”
Reuters apparently also received an e-mail on Sunday from a person claiming to have stolen HBO data, including Game of Thrones.
Hacking Hollywood can have significant repercussions. Sony struggled in the aftermath of its huge hack in 2014, which leaked employee emails as well as films.
*With a file from Reuters