HBO offers $250000 as 'bounty payment' to hackers

The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data stolen from HBO

The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data stolen from HBO

A person familiar with HBO's response to the attack told Reuters that the company sent the email "as a stall tactic" and had never meant to make the $250,000 payment or pay the full $6 million the hackers had demanded to hold off going public with data stolen from HBO.

Assuming that HBO can have its account verified within a week, it will take additional time for the cash to clear and to receive bitcoin with a Coinbase wallet.

Variety says the email may have been a stalling tactic, as the email was sent in late July before HBO had fully assessed the extent of the hack.

John Beyler, the HBO executive emailed thanking the hackers for "making them aware" of their weak security. They have since posted scripts from several "Game of Thrones" episodes, including one that was unreleased, episodes of "Ballers" and "Room 104", and a month's worth of emails appearing to be from Leslie Cohen, HBO's vice president for film programming. A few days after HBO sent the note, the hackers went to the media with details of the breach.

"Game of Thrones" episode 4 was leaked online before its release on the Indian streaming app Hotstar.

The hack follows attacks on Netflix, where a hacker demanded a ransom in exchange for not leaking episodes of Orange is the New Black. The hacker claimed to make $12 million to $15 million per year.

Hackers continue to pester HBO but have not released any material related to the network's hit show Game of Thrones in their latest leak. The network said: "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week". But rather than offering up the sum as a ransom payment, HBO refers to the money as a "bug bounty payment".

Thus far, companies have largely declined to negotiate with hackers, in part for fear of setting a precedent of paying them off.

Among other series leaked by the hacker included the latest episode of HBO comedy "Insecure", which was to have premiered tonight.

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