Hackers have successfully stolen and released content from HBO.
On July 31, hackers released several of the network’s shows on illegal torrent websites. This is the second time that HBO has suffered this type of incident, as the first four episodes of the fifth season of Game of Thrones became widely available online in April 2015—just days before the show’s official premiere.
This leak involves Game of Thrones, but not directly. According to several sources, reporters received an email on Sunday with the following message:
“Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.”
The email referenced an upcoming leak, which quickly surfaced.
The hackers allegedly posted parts of a script for the upcoming fourth episode of Game of Thrones (HBO hasn’t confirmed the legitimacy of the script segment) along with unaired episodes of Room 104 and Ballers.
So far, the hackers haven’t leaked actual episodes of Game of Thrones, but they promised: “more to come.” HBO quickly issued a statement.
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the network confirmed. “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
HBO’s CEO, Richard Plepler, sent the following email to his employees:
As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming. Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us.
I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean. It is a textbook example of quintessential HBO teamwork. The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of.
As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully.
In 2015, Game of Thrones producer Greg Spence told The Denver Post that he was worried about leaks.
“The cast is looping all over the world, sending files back and forth,” he said at the time. “Artists are working in special-effects houses all over the world. The files are watermarked, and editors have to confirm in writing that they’ve deleted them.”
Another leak could compromise some of the long-running fantasy show’s tightly kept secrets. If you’re afraid of spoilers, you might want to stay off of Game of Thrones message boards for the next few days.