HBO offered ‘bounty’ to hackers

“This episode of the HBO hack is turning out to be a “Game of Thorns” for HBO”.

In a bid to contain further leaks from a group of hackers, HBO reportedly offered to pay $250,000 to those who stole almost 1.5 TB data, including scripts of “Game of Thrones” (GoT) and other employee information, from the TV network. HBO declined to comment on the story. A person close to the investigation confirmed the authenticity of the email, but said it was an attempt to buy time and assess the situation. The email indicates a negotiation between the network and the hackers.

A purported leaked email, sent to various media publications by the hackers, appeared to come from an HBO executive, offering the “bug bounty” of $250,000 for showing up weaknesses in the firm’s system, Forbes reported late on Friday. The request prompted an automated response that provided a link to an image of the July 27 note from HBO.

Variety reports that an anonymous hacker sent a copy of a message sent by HBO that apparently offered a “bounty payment” of $250,000 to the hacker involved in a recent massive data breach for the network.

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 read, “You have the advantage of having surprised us”. In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week.

Beyler’s email to the hackers said the company was working “very hard” to review all the material they provided, and also trying to figure out a way to make a large transaction in bitcoin, the hackers’ preferred payment method.

The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data stolen from HBO.

Earlier this week, a video circulating online authored by someone identified only as “Mr. Smith” said the hackers had videos, scripts, personnel files and other sensitive data from the breach.

It is unclear if the HBO email is authentic or if it has been doctored in any way.

The leaks so far have fallen well short of the chaos inflicted on Sony in 2014.