NEWS

HBO’s Game of Thrones Leak Promised Following ‘Cyber Incident’

The latest round of Hollywood hacks has seen hackers leak episodes of major series Ballers and Room 104. Hackers have also leaked a Game of Thrones script.

Yes, you read that right! It seems that Christmas has come early for the pirates. Although it’s still unclear exactly what the hackers have obtained, there are some pretty juicy rumors about what may be in store.

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Multiple news outlets received an email from unnamed hackers on Sunday night. The senders claim to have leaked episodes from two upcoming HBO series, with what looks to be the script from the forthcoming fourth instalment of Game of Thrones season 7.

The statement promised an exclusive interview to the outlet that spreads the news most widely. Although the hackers are releasing the stolen data slowly, the group explicitly names ‘Game of Thrones’ in its statement. The statement concludes by stating that “HBO is falling.” If this is an indication of the magnitude of the data breach, the hackers have something BIG.

Early reports suggest that up to 1.5 terabytes of data has been stolen. This suggests that, in addition to episode and scripts, the hackers may be in possession of HBO employees’ personal information and company emails. In addition to the Game of Thrones script, the hackers have released the latest episode of Ballers, as well as of Room 104, a new series by the Duplass Brothers.

This is not the first major network hack in recent years. In 2014, Sony was targeted by hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace. They leaked copies of the Brad Pitt film Fury and the remake of Annie online, as well as the script for James Bond film Spectre, along with thousands of company emails totalling a reported 100 terabytes.

Apart from the loss of revenue, Sony was the focus of plenty of embarrassing media attention for the content of the leaked emails. One referred to actress Angelina Jolie’s “rampaging spoiled ego.”

Netflix also was the target of a hack earlier this year. Episodes of its flagship series, Orange is the New Black, were released online months before Netflix aired them.

HBO has confirmed that it has “experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information.” In short, it’s been robbed. It also confirms it is using law enforcement and cybersecurity firms to help prevent future leaks.

The CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, has in the past dismissed the impact of piracy on the company. However, HBO has recently partnered with cybersecurity firm IP Echelon. HBO has also teamed up with Netflix, Amazon and 20th Century Fox to form an “Anti-Piracy Alliance.”

It’s not clear, in Bewkes’ own words, whether raised awareness of the HBO brand will be positive or negative. However, all eyes will certainly be on the broadcaster, as fans wait for leaks of their favourite shows. They’ll also be on the lookout for minor celebrity scandals, of the kind witnessed as a result of the Sony hack.

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Whatever steps HBO has taken to combat piracy in the past, you can be sure it will be stepping up its game now. For example, some of the top torrents on sites like The Pirate Bay have reportedly been planted by cybersecurity firms. These act as honey traps to catch out illegal downloaders.

If you are going to use sites like The Pirate Bay to access TV shows and movies, it is essential that you hide your identity. Have a look at BestVPN.com’s breakdown of the five best VPNS for torrenting, P2P, and file sharing for further information on how to protect yourself with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

 

 


Rob McAllister

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