HBO Hack Results in Stolen 'Game of Thrones' Episodes and Scripts

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 - 5:12PM
Game of Thrones
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 - 5:12PM
HBO Hack Results in Stolen 'Game of Thrones' Episodes and Scripts
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Cyber-crime strikes again - HBO has suffered a massive server hack, during which thieves were able to make off with a lot of upcoming Game of Thrones content, possibly including full episodes of season seven.

The leak, which is believed to total more than 1.5 terabytes of data, is likely to contain a series of employee email addresses and scripts for upcoming shows, in addition to large chunks of upcoming Thrones footage. An anonymous email was sent to a series of news reporters on Sunday, essentially bragging about pulling off the successful e-heist in less-than-perfect grammar:

Opening quote
"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."
Closing quote

It's not known exactly how large this leak is, as the hackers didn't manage to back up the numbers they gave with any definitive proof. That said, HBO is clearly very upset about the theft, so it's probably not an inconsequential amount of material that's now circulating among pirates.

These kinds of hacks can do some major damage to companies. Sony's big leak in 2015 was a massive blow to the company, as several upcoming movies found their way onto the shadier side of the internet, and upcoming plans for a Spider-Man rights deal with Marvel were laid bare to the public. It's believed that HBO's hack is even bigger than the amount of data that Sony saw stolen from their servers, which could prove disastrous for their profits - every person watching Game of Thrones illegally is another person that is not generating advertising revenue for the network.

Setting stuntmen on fire is expensive, and the network is banking on high ad revenue to ensure the show turns the biggest possible profit so they can light a bunch more people aflame next year for season eight with their gigantic CGI dragons. Game of Thrones is pirated extremely often anyways, but even more pirating will only hurt HBO.

Understandably, HBO is now working with the FBI to trace the source of the hack, and you can be certain that if they're able to find anyone involved, the full weight of the law will come down on them, hard. Media companies do not mess around with this kind of stuff.

One of the best examples of an entertainment giant punishing a hacker came after the source code for Half Life 2 was leaked onto the internet. Video game company Valve contacted the hacker personally, claiming that they were impressed with his technical skills, and offering him a job at the company. When the hacker arrived at the pre-determined location, he was greeted by the authorities. Chances are high that the HBO hackers won't be so monumentally stupid as to walk right into a police sting.

The problem with this kind of hack is that it hurts everyone. Sure, it would be easy to indulge by seeking out leaked episodes of Game of Thrones a few days earlier, but in the age of the internet, the moment advanced details start bouncing around, those people who wait patiently for the episodes to air find themselves subjected to incredibly frustrating spoilers simply as part of their daily lives. Speculation and fan theory is one thing, but the moment leaked details start circulating, fans of the show are going to suffer.

So do everyone a favor, and stay away from these episodes. The preferred Game of Thrones viewing experience shouldn't involve a dodgy streaming website, and it definitely shouldn't involve shortchanging both the series' fans and creators by engaging in illegal activity.

Via: Collider
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