The hackers, who leaked episodes of HBO shows, including Game of Thrones earlier this week, have now reportedly left a ransom note. According to The Wired, the latest leak includes another half-gigabyte sample of the group’s stolen digital goods and further claiming that they have data worth 1.5 terabytes in all.
The report further states that the ransom note specified that the stolen data includes scripts for the first four episodes of the current Game of Thrones season, as well as the script of the yet-to-air fifth episode, all watermarked with the hackers’ motto “HBO is Falling.” Countless HBO internal documents, including emails, financial balance sheets, employment agreements, and marketing-strategy PDFs are also included.
The hackers’ note also includes their motivation for the leaks. “Our demand is clear and Non-Negotiable: We want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your Data. HBO spends 12 million for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!” reads the letter, written by a “Mr. Smith,” who added that the deadline for that payment is three days from when the letter was sent, but doesn’t include a date.
“Leakage will be your worst nightmare. So make a wise decision!” – the note ends with an image of the Night King villain from the show.
While an HBO spokesperson said that they have been working round-the-clock to nab the hackers, the note left behind also included a strange video summary of next week’s Game of Thrones episode, with stills from the show adjoining a plot summary. The Wired further reports that there’s also a screenshot of a file directory containing folders that reference more than a dozen HBO shows, including unreleased episodes of upcoming shows like Room 104, Insecure season 2, an untitled show by Silicon Valley director Mike Judge, and Curb Your Enthusiasm season 9.
Last week, HBO’s Game of Thrones suffered a massive hack after a group wrote an automated email reply sent to Variety.com that it will release the TV show’s episodes every week. They had threatened a leak last Sunday, claiming that they have 1.5 terabyte of data from HBO’s computer networks.
Links to the fourth episode of the season 7 of the show, which was scheduled to premiere on August 6 on HBO (August 7 in India), appeared on a discussion board on Reddit, as first reported by the Verge. The pirated copy of the episode, titled “The Spoils of War,” was available via Google Drive soon enough.
Soon after the link was posted on Reddit at 8:12 AM ET Friday, the post was updated with this message: “The file has been taken down for violating GoogleDrive’s [terms of service]. You can no longer view it.” However, according to reports, the episode has since begun circulating on torrent-based file-sharing piracy sites including the Pirate Bay.
The hacker group last Monday had leaked 1.5 TB of the data of HBO, including the script of the next episode of Game of Thrones and unreleased episodes of Ballers and Room 104 – two of the other shows of HBO, after which the TV network started an investigation in the matter. IANS reports that there were fears among the employees of HBO of their personal data having been accessed by the hackers, but the company denied the notion.
Feature Image: HBO