The email’s publication suggests the hackers will only accept the $6 million ransom, banking on the belief that HBO always pays its debts.
HBO responded by offering a “bug bounty“, a payment normally given to legitimate researchers who discover security vulnerabilities but do not take the files thus obtained as plunder. With hackers now leaking their communication with the network, it appears they are either trying to embarrass the company even more or are just frustrated with this delay.
The hack was first mentioned a few days ago, after episode 3 of the seventh Game of Thrones season aired.
“As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin.”
The hackers behind HBO’s data breach have allegedly leaked an email in which the channel offered them $250,000 as a “bounty payment”, according to U.S. reports including in Variety. That’s why you may know it as the Game of Thrones hack, though the hackers did not specifically target the show.
The hackers claim to have more data, including scripts, upcoming episodes of HBO shows and movies, and information damaging to HBO.
Last week, more details about the data breach at HBO were revealed.
But the negotiations with HBO aren’t going well, a new report explains.
The Hollywood Reporter says it got an email from the hackers August 3 saying, “It’s just about money”. (It is also important to point out that HBO doesn’t care about demo ratings like other networks, because they aren’t ad-supported and run off subscription fees). “In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week”.
The hackers leaked the email because of the money.
“It’s just about money”, they wrote to The Hollywood Reporter.
Variety says the email may have been a stalling tactic, as the email was sent in late July before HBO had fully assessed the extent of the hack.