Hackers demand millions in ransom from HBO

NEW YORK •Hackers have demanded millions of dollars in ransom payments from television group HBO while threatening to release more files from what is claimed to be a massive data breach.

A video circulating online directs a message to HBO chief Richard Plepler, claiming that the group "obtained valuable information" in an attack that yielded a whopping 1.5 terabytes of data.

The message was authored by someone identified as "Mr Smith".

The website Databreaches.net reported that 10 files were leaked on Monday as part of the demand, including what may be another script of the popular fantasy series, Game Of Thrones.

The message came a week after a leak of one script of the show and content from other productions.

The letter said HBO was the 17th target for the hacking group and that "only three of our past targets refused to pay and were punished very badly and two of them collapsed entirely".

HBO said it believed that further leaks might emerge from the breach and that "the forensic review is ongoing".

"While it has been reported that a number of e-mails 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," the statement from the Time Warner unit added.

"We continue to work around the clock with outside cyber-security firms and law enforcement to resolve the incident."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2017, with the headline 'Hackers demand millions in ransom from HBO'. Print Edition | Subscribe