Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

HBO Offered $250000 to Hackers to Prevent Leaks

HBO Offered $250000 to Hackers to Prevent Leaks

HBO has offered a group that stole 1.5 terabytes of data, including unaired Game of Thrones episodes, a $250,000 "bug bounty" in place of the multi-million ransom they demanded, emails newly released by the hackers show. The hackers have yet to receive their money, which is why they leaked a purported email exchange with an HBO exec to Hollywood Reporter.

It also contains a plea from HBO to extend the ransom-payment deadline for one week while the transfer was being made.

"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 person continued.

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Variety claims it spoke to a source close to the HBO investigation into the hack, who was able to confirm the authenticity of the email. Smith, ' demanded an unknown amount - reportedly in the millions of dollars - to stop leaking the files they said it took them six months to obtain.

Variety has opted not to publish the name or email address of the HBO executive from which the message was sent.

The leak of the most recent episode of Game of Thrones didn't do hurt the audience numbers, at least as much as some may have expected. While $250,000 in bitcoin is a lot of money to most people, it isn't almost the amount the hacker originally demanded.

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Thus far, companies have largely declined to negotiate with hackers, in part for fear of setting a precedent of paying them off.

While the memo appears to be more of a stalling tactic than a serious offer, HBO really shouldn't be surprised that it got out. We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us.So we have one option.Wait till Sunday.

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