A hacker or group of hackers has breached the servers of HBO and have stolen over 1.5TB of information, some of which they leaked online over the weekend.
The hackers announced the leak by sending private emails to a group of selected reporters. The emails contained links to the leaked material.
The hackers didn't leak all the files they stole, but only an upcoming episode from Ballers and one from Room 104, two HBO productions. The hackers also leaked a written material that appeared to be the script for HBO's Game of Thrones season 7 episode 4 episode, set to air next Sunday.
Hackers promised to leak more content in the future. "Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling," the hackers wrote in their email to reporters.
HBO confirmed the leak to Entertainment Weekly, who first broke the story. HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler also sent an internal email to HBO employees about the incident.
No Game of Thrones episode leaked. Two years ago, the first four episodes of Game of Thrones season 5 leaked on torrent sites. That leak originated in episode previews sent to media members via DVDs before the season's premiere. This time around, someone breached HBO's internal IT systems and grabbed data from the company's secure network.
French security researcher Matt Suiche noted that ten days before the leak, HBO had published a LinkedIn job ad for the position of Senior Information Security Manager.
HBO is not the first movie company to suffer a data breach at the hands of a hacker. In April this year, a hacker group known as TheDarkOverlord leaked the first ten episodes from season five of
"Orange Is The New Black."
In that incident, hackers had breached a sound mixing studio and stolen movies and TV episodes from several movie studios, such as Netflix, FOX, IFC, NAT GEO, and ABC. Netflix declined to pay a ransom demand. In June, the same hackers leaked ABC's upcoming Funderdome game show, also after ABC declined to pay a ransom demand.
It is unknown if hackers had tried to extort HBO before the leak.
Image credits: HBO