Did HBO Offer A $250,000 Reward To Their Hackers?

A new message was released by the HBO Hacker and it seems that HBO executives have reached out to them and offered a bounty payment of $250,000, as a reward for bringing some things to their attention. According to the reports, this is actually a part of their program that awards “white hat IT professionals”.

According to Variety, they were able to obtain a copy of the latest message last Thursday, since they were included in the list of select journalists with whom the hackers communicated with. The HBO Hacker forwarded a message from HBO that was sent to them last July 27.

The message was reportedly sent by an executive of the Time Warner -owned company and was strategically written in a non-confrontational tone. This was done in the hopes that this could stall the situation and give them more time as they continue to investigate what happened. The Variety mentioned that their source worked closely with the investigation and confirmed the authenticity of the email. The $250,000 payment was also done in the hopes that it would be satisfy the demands of the HBO hacker and possibly avoid more leaks from this major data breach.

An extension for the deadline of payment of the ransom was also requested by HBO. The message mentioned that the HBO hacker had the advantage of surprising the company and in the “spirit of professional cooperation” they sought an extension of one week. This way, they can prepare the $250,000 payment and the correct amount that can be secured in Bitcoin.

In their original video letter, the HBO hacker demanded a ransom worth six month’s of their salary. They further claimed that they can make about $12 to $15 million per year.

Emilia Clarke Season 6 Premiere
HBO Season 6 Premiere of Game of Thrones at Hollywood California [Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez /Getty Images]

According to Washington Post, HBO disclosed the hacking incident last July 31. The HBO Hacker who calls himself Mr. Smith, was able to gain access to 1.5 terabytes worth of data. This included scripts and videos of highly anticipated shows like Ballers, Insecure, Game of Thrones, and even emails and other internal documents from the network.

Security experts are still determining the extent of the security breach and what other materials have been compromised.

Meanwhile, HBO has declined to comment on the latest message that was sent by their hackers.

[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]