It’s been a banner year for high-level hacks in the entertainment industry, and it was almost inevitable that the trend would find its way to HBO eventually. Entertainment Weekly reports the network confirmed today that its systems were breached, with hackers claiming “to have obtained 1.5 terabytes of data” from HBO, including episodes of Ballers and Room 104. (These episodes were uploaded online, confirming the hacking.) According to EW, included in the hack as well is “written material” said to be from episode 4 of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season.
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” HBO says in a statement published by EW. “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
Although these breaches happen and should be taken seriously, I’m a little cynical about the veracity of this one when it comes to Game of Thrones, if they’re only providing and/or uploading written material. Extensive Game of Thrones season 7 spoilers were leaked last fall on Reddit by a user named Awayforthelads, including chunks of dialogue. As filming of season 7 progressed last year, it became apparent that the leaks were largely accurate, and as the new episodes air, they’re matching the Awayforthelads spoilers almost to a tee, with a few small variances that can be excused by post-filming editing and on-set tweaking during filming. The season 7 script leaks are so widespread already that YouTubers like Frikidoctor have been providing extensive script breakdowns for future episodes, including episode 4 which anyone could easily copy.
So until an actual episode of Game of Thrones is leaked, let’s remain calm. They could have been adding Game of Thrones material to their threat to make it more frightening. And then even if one is leaked…stay calm anyway, because whether or not you pirate an episode is up to you. With a year full of script spoilers floating around, we can survive a few more weeks of season 7 with this nonsense!