Things at HBO are going from bad to worse as a chunk of the stolen Game of Thrones season 7 and network data has finally surfaced online as part of the hackers claimed 1.5-terabyte breach. Latest materials leaked include the draft script of a few unaired episodes and contracts of cast members, including Daenerys portrayer herself, Emilia Clarke.
Unknown hackers have released 3.4-gigabyte of files out of the 1.5-terabyte HBO data that they claimed stolen. The group of hackers, calling themselves Mr Smith, has released a five-minute video letter to HBO chief executive Richard Plepler demanding to pay their sixth months' worth of salary in bitcoin within three days to cease the illicit unveiling of the rest of the stolen data.
The group has claimed they are earning US$12m to US$15m a year from breaching data of organisations. Part of the released 3.4-gigabyte of files includes Game of Thrones season 7's draft scripts from five unaired episodes and cast members' contracts, HBO's internal network and administrator passwords and a month's worth of emails from the network's vice president for film programming Leslie Cohen.
Game of Thrones season 7's confidential cast list includes the personal landline numbers and email addresses of actors such as Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage. Meanwhile, many internal documents marked as "confidential" were also released, divulging job offer letters to several top executives, a spreadsheet of legal disputes against HBO, slides detailing the network's future technology plans and a list of almost 40,000 emails called "Richard's Contact List".
HBO, however, denies that its email system in its entirety is in danger, conceding that "propriety information" has been stolen. The network says it is working hand in hand with authorities and cyber security experts to track down the people behind Mr Smith.
According to the hackers, it took them six months to break into HBO's network, adding that they are expending US$500,000 a year to declare zero-day exploits which give hackers the open gateway to breach networks. This gateway, as they claimed, has not been known yet to Microsoft and other software firms.