Just a week after a massive HBO cyber-attack resulted in a Game of Thrones script leak, along with new episodes of Ballers and Room 104 that hadn't aired yet, the hackers have struck again. The hackers have leaked the script for next week's episode of Game of Thrones, entitled Eastwatch, along with personal details such as the phone numbers and email addresses for stars such as Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey. There was also a five-minute video sent to HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, demanding millions of dollars to be transferred via bitcoin, or else they will release all of the data they claim to have stolen.
The Guardian reports that in the video, one of the hackers, identified only as "Mr. Smith," demanded the executive's "six-month salary in bitcoin," claiming that the executives earn between $12 million and $15 million a year from blackmailing organisations whose networks they have breached. The hackers' ransom video states they would only deal directly with Richard Plepler, and that they would send one "letter" with detailed instructions of how to pay the ransom. Along with the video, the hackers released 3.4 gigabytes of stolen data, which represents just a fraction of the 1.5 terabytes they claimed to have stolen. This also comes just a few days after the Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 leaked through an international distributor, which isn't believed to be connected to this cyber-attack.
They said they would only deal directly with "Richard" and only send one "letter" detailing how to pay. The leaked data also included scripts from the first four Game of Thrones Season 7 episodes, along with the script from the upcoming fifth episode, along with technical data for HBO's internal network, including administrator passwords, plus a month's worth of emails from HBO's vice president for film programming, Leslie Cohen. There were also more than 50 internal documents released, including a spreadsheet detailing legal claims, job offers to executives, slides featuring plans for future technology and a list of 37,977 emails entitled "Richard's Contact List," which seems to be Richard Plepler's personal contact list. Wired reached out to HBO spokesperson Jeff Cusson, who revealed in a brief statement that he doesn't believe their whole email system has been compromised.
"(Our) forensic review is ongoing. The review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised. We continue to work around the clock with outside cybersecurity firms and law enforcement to resolve the incident."
The ransom video also included a screenshot of a directory containing folders labeled with the titles of more than a dozen HBO programs, including Room 104, Insecure Season 2, an untitled show by Silicon Valley director Mike Judge and Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 9. The ransom video stated that the network has three days to pay up, from when the video was sent, but it wasn't clear exactly when the video was sent. With the leak of this script for Game of of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5, it remains to be seen if the hackers plan on leaking the full episode. If the video was sent yesterday, that means the episode could leak by Thursday, if the episode is in fact in possession of the hackers.
Even despite the hack, HBO is no stranger to piracy, with Game of Thrones topping the list of the most pirated shows for five years in a row, a streak that will likely remain intact after this season. We reported last month that the Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere was pirated a whopping 90 million times alone. The fifth episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, Eastwatch, airs Sunday, August 13 at 9 PM ET on HBO.