Hackers Demand Million-Dollar in Ransom from HBO

A group of hackers named “Mr. Smith” posted a fresh cache of stolen HBO files online Monday, and demanded a multimillion-dollar ransom in bitcoins from the network to prevent further such releases.

The data dumped by the hackers has nearly 1.5 terabytes of data which includes the scripts from five “Game of Thrones” episodes, one is of the upcoming episode, and it also includes a month’s worth of email from the account of Leslie Cohen, HBO’s vice president for film programming. Other than this it also has internal documents, including a report of legal claims against the network and job offer letters to top executives.

HBO, had acknowledged the theft of "proprietary information," said it is investigating and working with police and cyber security experts. However, they denied that their email system as a whole had been compromised.

The hackers demanded "our 6-month salary in Bitcoin," which they implied is at least $6 million. They claimed that they earn $12 million to $15 million a year from blackmailing companies whose network they have penetrated.

"Our demand is clear and Non-Negotiable: We want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your Data," the letter reads. "HBO spends 12 million for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!"

According to Wired, the letter has the deadline for payment that is three days from when the letter was sent but doesn't include a date.

 "Leakage will be your worst nightmare," the note continues. "So make a wise decision!"
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