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HBO offered GoT hackers $250k Bitcoin 'bounty'

12 August 2017

HBO hackers have so far leaked the data in two separate dumps, with one releasing script of the Game of Thrones season 7 episode 4, unaired episodes of Ballers and Room 104, and the second leak dumping administrator passwords and GoT stars' contact details along with a top executive's emails.

"You have the advantage of having surprised us", reads the email, which Variety said was sent by an HBO technology team member on July 27.

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As a show of good faith, HBO offered to make a bug bounty payment.

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. Both Varietyand The Hollywood Reporterreport receiving an email from the hackers containing a transcript of a message sent by HBO offering payment. The email was worded in a way where they could buy time before the hackers release any sensitive data, and they also requested a full week to make the payment.

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Obtaining that much Bitcoin at short notice is a bit more complicated than getting a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos, so the unnamed HBO executive asked the hackers for an extension to the ransom deadline. While HBO may have had no intention of paying, it's unusual to see such a huge corporation engaging with a hacker at all. So far, we have rarely heard of any big companies acquiescing to ransom demands or even negotiating with hackers at all. All documents that have been leaked bear a watermark with the message "HBO is Falling".

The video letter uploaded on Monday claimed the hackers spend a half million dollars a year to purchase "zero-day" exploits that let them break into networks through holes not yet know to Microsoft and other software companies. 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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HBO offered GoT hackers $250k Bitcoin 'bounty'