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HBO Hackers Demand Ransom For 1.5TB Of Data

The hackers who claim to have breached HBO's network want a bunch of Bitcoin in exchange for their silence. A video that appears to recreate a letter sent to HBO CEO Richard Plepler claims the hackers managed to steal 1.5TB of data after six months of trying to compromise the network. The video also outlines the hackers' demands and includes a list of the information the hackers purportedly stole as a result of the attack.

Perhaps most troubling for HBO is the potential of having scripts and recordings from upcoming shows leaked. The hackers claim to have full scripts, films, and series for "Game of Thrones," "Insecure," "Ballers," and other HBO productions, and they said in the video that they "will be broadcast in upcoming months" with an "HBO Is Falling" logo edited in. (They also apologized for the "amateur mixing" in the videos.)

Here's the other data the hackers claim to have stolen, as listed in the video:

HBO's Various Contracts, Mutual Agreements, Human resources, internal structure, International affiliates, Business strategies, international Marketing, IT infrastructures, producing films & Series (with very detail info!), budget detail for major operations, how you sell and how much! various strategic insights in every aspects, confidential research, internal letters & Tax Evading Proofs! & Nielsen's Dirty Job! & etc.

Yet the hackers claim that they have HBO's best interests at heart. They don't have any political goals, they said, and "money isn't [their] main purpose." That didn't stop them from demanding a ransom, however, because they "want to be your partner in a tiny part of HBO's huge income." Specifically, the hackers said HBO should consider the ransom "another budget for [its] advertisements."

So how much do the hackers want? Well, in the video they claim that they conduct two major operations in a year with a resulting annual income between $12 million and $15 million. They want HBO to pay half that amount (so roughly $6 million to $7.5 million) in Bitcoin. In exchange, the scripts, video files, and other data won't be published, and HBO series like "Game of Thrones" can unfold without being spoiled for their fans.

The full video was made available to the public by Mashable, which also obtained "a portion" of the documents leaked alongside the ransom demand. The Guardian reported that the hackers released "a spreadsheet of legal claims against the TV network, job offer letters to several top executives, slides discussing future technology plans, and a list of 37,977 emails" dubbed "Richard's Contact List" with this new video.

The hackers also revealed the cast list for "Game of Thrones," which includes the actors' telephone numbers and email addresses. That means the hack doesn't just threaten HBO's finances; it also endangers the privacy of the network's talent. The accounts associated with that information can be compromised, for example, which could lead to the publication or ransom (or both) of the actors' personal information.

  • derekullo
    If you don't want to know the ending of Game of Thrones ... don't read the ending?

    I knew the ending of Harry Potter before I watched the movies and the movies were still great.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    20038291 said:
    If you don't want to know the ending of Game of Thrones ... don't read the ending?

    I knew the ending of Harry Potter before I watched the movies and the movies were still great.

    The Game of Thrones show has deviated almost entirely from the books by now.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20038376 said:
    20038291 said:
    If you don't want to know the ending of Game of Thrones ... don't read the ending?

    I knew the ending of Harry Potter before I watched the movies and the movies were still great.

    The Game of Thrones show has deviated almost entirely from the books by now.

    I meant don't read the ransom lol.

    Was just using Harry Potter as an example of how knowing isn't the end of the world.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    The Ransom Is Coming !!!
    Reply
  • Kennyy Evony
    i don't even watch that show so i don't really care. all i heard what its a show full of men's balls which didn't attract my attention any.
    Reply
  • Kennyy Evony
    This could be retaliation to the copyright tension HBO has been pushing in recent months against torrents. Now they are getting a fist in the behind. Hooray for karma.
    Reply
  • gangrel
    I remember the watch party for the final episode of M*A*S*H. Twas in a Pizza Hut that was *packed*...FAR more so than even for Monday Night Football. And this was the heyday of MNF.

    For *massive* spoilers...the last episode of season 3 of Downton Abbey. Or, the last Henry Blake episode of M*A*S*H, where he goes home. The endings of these, if announced in advance, not only color those episodes, but the entire series. The impacts on ratings, and therefore ad revenue, are huge. And in GoT, the potential that ANY character might bite the bullet, is a huge factor.

    The privacy breaches are equally disturbing. Major celebrities have enormous problems maintaining any kind of personal space. In addition, of course, they are known to be wealthy, and thus would have big targets on themselves anyway.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20038536 said:
    I remember the watch party for the final episode of M*A*S*H. Twas in a Pizza Hut that was *packed*...FAR more so than even for Monday Night Football. And this was the heyday of MNF.

    For *massive* spoilers...the last episode of season 3 of Downton Abbey. Or, the last Henry Blake episode of M*A*S*H, where he goes home. The endings of these, if announced in advance, not only color those episodes, but the entire series. The impacts on ratings, and therefore ad revenue, are huge. And in GoT, the potential that ANY character might bite the bullet, is a huge factor.

    The privacy breaches are equally disturbing. Major celebrities have enormous problems maintaining any kind of personal space. In addition, of course, they are known to be wealthy, and thus would have big targets on themselves anyway.

    The privacy breaches for the actors isn't equally disturbing, it's more disturbing.

    Losing a few million dollars for a movie studio is one thing, losing a life due to some one breaking in to your house from buying your address on ToR or having it released for free on the Internet is much worse.

    Rebecca Schaeffer being a prime example of a stalker learning where you live.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    The tax evasion part is the really dangerous one (if true).
    Everything else is salvageable.
    Reply
  • fireaza
    "That didn't stop them from demanding a ransom, however, because they "want to be your partner in a tiny part of HBO's huge income.""
    That kind of relationship, where one party takes from the other without giving anything in return, is generally known as "parasitic", not a "partnership".
    Reply