A day after hackers said that they would release HBO information and did not, correspondence from a VP-level individual and more has been dumped out on the internet.
The data breach includes a number of emails from mid-April to mid-May of this year, and materials that include information about forthcoming Game of Thrones episodes and actors on the blockbuster series. Those claiming to be the hackers are demanding a multimillion dollar fee or say they will release more confidential and corporate material in the next several days.
The Richard Plepler-run premium cabler was quick to respond to this latest leak from the hackers.
“HBO believed that further leaks might emerge from this cyber incident when we confirmed it last week,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement. “As we said, the forensic review is ongoing. While it has been reported that a number of emails have been made public, the review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our e-mail 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 statement continued. “Meanwhile, our dedicated employees continue to focus on delivering the high quality of entertainment and service for which we are known.”
Deadline does not believe it is appropriate to release the name of the HBO executive nor more details of other aspects of the data breach and other circumstances surrounding it.
HBO confirmed on July 31 it had experienced a cyber attack “which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information.” The premium cabler said it “immediately began investigating the incident” and was working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. HBO did not comment on what content might have been stolen, did not name specific titles or the amount of data accessed in the hack.
In an memo on the 31st, Plepler assured employees that “senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests.”
This is not the first time HBO has been the victim of a hack. The first four episodes of Game of Thrones‘ fifth season leaked shortly before the linear broadcast premiere in 2015. Netflix and ABC also were attacked. A hacker dubbed The Dark Overlord posted the first episode of Season 5 of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black in April when Netflix refused to pay a ransom. ABC was also targeted by hackers when eight episodes of the unscripted Steve Harvey game show Funderdome were released online early.
Hackers claimed to have stolen a digital copy of ABC parent Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and threatened to release bits of it online — in increments — if their demands for an enormous amount of Bitcoin money weren’t met. Disney made clear it would not pay. The FBI investigated and Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said later he believed the threat was a hoax.