HBO offers hackers 250K in bitcoin as ‘bounty payment’: reports

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Email shows negotiations between the network and anonymous hackers

 

HOLLYWOOD – HBO has reportedly offered hackers behind a massive data breach US$250,000 as “bug bounty payment”.

An email dated July 27 from a network executive was leaked by a hacker last week to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter (THR). Both entertainment news outlets did not identify the HBO official.

In the email, the network offered to make a “bounty payment” of US$250,000 under a program that rewards “white hat IT professionals for bringing these types of things to our attention”, referring to vulnerabilities in HBO’s system.




Variety’s source who the media outlet described as “close to the investigation” into the hacking incident confirmed the veracity of the email and that it was worded that way to stall for time while the company evaluates the situation.

The HBO executive said in the email that the network has “been working hard since (July 23) to review all of the material that you have made available to us. In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week. As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin.”

“We also have not been able to put into place the necessary infrastructure to be able to make a large payment in bitcoin, although we are taking steps to do so as you suggested,” the HBO executive added.

THR has confirmed that the executive works for HBO but the network has declined to comment.

In a five-minute video sent to HBO last week, the hackers, who have identified themselves as “Mr. Smith”, earlier threatened to release 1.5TB of data stolen from the network that contains scripts and confidential corporate data”.

Along the video, the hackers leaked 3.4GB of files of technical data detailing HBO’s internal network and administrator passwords, draft scripts from five Game of Thrones episodes, including the one shown last week week, and a month’s worth of emails from Leslie Cohen, HBO’s vice president for film programming.

The hackers demanded “six-month salary in bitcoin”, claiming that it took them six months to break into HBO’s system. They claimed that they earn US$12 million to US$15 million a year from blackmailing organizations whose networks they have breached but did not identify those networks.

Meanwhile, the hackers sent THR an email on Aug. 3 wherein they revealed their motive for hacking HBO’s system. “It’s just about money. We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us,” the email said. GAC/Expat Media[/expatmedia-article-content][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][expatmedia-related-posts enable_pagination=”no” layout=”2-col” posts_query=”size:6|order_by:date|post_type:post|categories:38″ title=”MORE HOLLYWOOD STORIES” thumb_size=”expatmedia-post-thumbnail”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class=”col-md-4″][vc_column_inner][expatmedia-html custom_content=”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”][expatmedia-latest-posts read_more_text=”Read more →” posts_query=”size:10|order_by:date|post_type:post” title=”LATEST NEWS”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner el_class=”border-box border-box-mwidth business–popular-ad”][expatmedia-guides-posts posts_query=”size:3|order_by:date|post_type:post|categories:38″ title=”POPULAR IN HOLLYWOOD”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][expatmedia-subscription title=”Subscribe”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner el_class=”border-box border-box-mwidth business–popular-ad”][expatmedia-guides-posts page_link=”http://expatmedia.net/guides/” posts_query=”size:3|order_by:date|post_type:post|categories:2″ title=”Guides”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][svc_social_stream twitter_type=”@” twitter_num=”4″ skin_type=”template” grid_columns_count_for_desktop=”vcyt-col-md-12″ grid_columns_count_for_tablet=”vcyt-col-sm-12″ grid_columns_count_for_mobile=”vcyt-col-xs-12″ excerpt_length=”150″ loadmore=”no” title=”Twitter Post” twitter_id=”ExpatMediaUAE”][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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