HBO has announced that they will not be playing any "hacker's games" after hackers released several episodes of the highly anticipated 9th Season of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. The leaked Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes were preceded by leaks of scripts for the 7th Season of Game of Thrones, episodes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Ballers series, HBO series Insecure, and personal information from the all of the employees, including actors from all of their shows. It had previously been reported that HBO was attempting to pay the hackers a portion of the $6 million-dollar ransom to stall the leak of any further content, but it appears as if that information may have been false.
According to Deadline, HBO is not interested in negotiating with the hackers and they claim that they are not even in contact with the hacking group. It is currently unclear whether the leak of emails between the hackers and HBO that were leaked last week are fabricated or not, but it appears as if HBO is claiming that they have not been in contact with the hackers at all. HBO says that it will continue to do "what we do best" and not give the hackers anymore publicity. HBO released a statement that you can read below.
"We are not in communication with the hacker and we're not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released. It has been widely reported that there was a cyber incident at HBO. The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That's a game we're not going to participate in. Obviously, no company wants their proprietary information stolen and released on the internet. Transparency with our employees, partners, and the creative talent that works with us has been our focus throughout this incident and will remain our focus as we move forward. This incident has not deterred us from ensuring HBO continues to do what we do best."
It was reported last week that in an effort to stall the leaking of any more sensitive material, HBO offered the hackers $250,000 dollars back on July 27th. It was also reported that HBO was going to pay the hackers, but in a way that was presented as the hackers "worked" as IT specialists and that they found a weakness in HBO's security system. It is not clear if these negotiations ever really happened or not, but the hackers insist that it did and went as far as to leak out an email chain between themselves and HBO.
The leak of several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm could end up as good publicity for the show before the official premiere date in October. Netflix was recently the victim to a similar attack and it seems that the news of the leak was the perfect way to promote the 5th Season of Orange is the New Black. Many have gone on to make the accusation that Netflix leaked the episodes themselves as a marketing stunt since all of the episodes were leaked except for the remaining two episodes.
Regardless, it appears as if the hackers have a lot more information and content to leak, but HBO has been extremely lucky so far that it hasn't ended up in a situation like Sony hacks of 2014. Sony is still feeling the effects of the leak despite that they happened over three years ago. HBO is going to stand their ground at this time, but one can't help but wonder what will happen when further content is leaked.