An HBO hack update revealed that the hackers finally made their intention clear through a ransom note after leaking confidential data, including episode scripts and footages of the current season of the Game of Thrones.
According to Wired, the virtual thieves who hide under the name “Mr. Smith” finally specified their demands, a week after spoiling yet-to-be-aired episodes of several HBO shows, including the award-winning epic series.
Based on the outlet’s report, the hackers have released another wave of stolen data that included scripts for the first four episodes of GoT Season 7 as well as the one for the upcoming fifth episode in a 500-megabyte worth of digital goods that was watermarked with their infamous motto, “HBO is falling.”
Aside from that, the Hollywood Reporter added that the latest HBO hack release also included confidential emails of a company executive whose name has been redacted from the story.
The outlet also cited a video message sent to HBO CEO Richard Plepler by “Mr. Smith.”
“We successfully breached into your huge network. … HBO was one of our difficult targets to deal with but we succeeded (it took about 6 months),” the hackers said in the clip.
Citing the same video with white text and black background, Wired said that the hackers’ end goal with the stolen data was confirmed to be extortion.
“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!”
Based on a report from CNBC, the hackers are asking for “our 6 month salary in bitcoin,” which was implied to be at least $6 million.
On top of that, “Mr. Smith” went on to recount the ways at which the company will suffer from the HBO hack that ranges from upsetting their customers with spoilers to leaking pertinent business data for competitors to use against them.
“Leakage will be your worst nightmare so make a wise decision!” the hackers added before ending with a photo of the Game of Thrones big bad villain, the Night King.
Responding to Wired’s request for comment, Jeff Cusson, a spokesperson for the company, admitted that HBO expected the extortion and the leakage of more data from the HBO hack but clarified that their “forensic review is ongoing.”
Furthermore, Cusson said that current update from their review did not indicate “their email system as a whole has been compromised.”
“We continue to work around the clock with outside cybersecurity firms and law enforcement to resolve the incident,” he added without making any comment about the hackers’ ransom demand.
What is interesting about the group hiding behind the moniker “Mr. Smith” is that, despite demanding ransom money after stealing proprietary data, they still claim that they are not criminals and are mere “white hats.”
“It’s a game for us. Money isn’t our main purpose. We don’t want to endanger HBO’s situation nor cause it to lose its reputation. We want to be your partner in a tiny part of HBO’s huge income.”
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[Featured Image by HBO]