Hackers Crack HBO and Possibly Episode 4 of Game of Thrones

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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!

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    1. So they apparently have the script for episode 4??You can keep it hackers,we already know everything about that episode lol.

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    2. I have already seen the leaked GOT material this morning.

      I can’t believe Dany is a faceless man who was really Hot Pie the entire time. Lol

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    3. HBO better shut things down for Season 8.

      This is an unacceptable level of incompetence, no other networks or shows experience this level of systematic leaks, to my knowledge anyway.

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    4. Many of us have known the details of all Season 7 episodes for a long time now, as you pointed out (proven more with each episode airing). I agree with not freaking out. Still shitty that anyone hacks in, but I suppose since I read spoilers I can’t be too sanctimonious about it. 😕

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    5. Sue, I know you must’ve thought about it, but is it really wise or necessary to be so specific about the leaks and where to find them, even linking to them? I mean, most of us know by now, but mainstream media haven’t really been paying much attention to them during the on-season. Many of my friends have no clue there are leaks. But if this gets picked up again due to this post … lots more people will be spoiled!

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    6. I sure as hell am not reading a leaked script.

      Especially, not going to /r/freefolk, which probably will be filled with nitpickers who have already decided everything is terrible, without seeing the final product.
      No Thanks.

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    7. Dutch Maester,

      Mainstream media is very aware of the leaks. You don’t see my google alerts. And I’m not interested in being chided, thanks. There’s such a thing as sourcing, and it has to be done.

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    8. Jenny:
      So they apparently have the script for episode 4??You can keep it hackers,we already know everything about that episode lol.

      I think the actual episode is floating around

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    9. Is the episode even finished?
      I know, sometimes the VFX heavy episodes aren’t even fully completed till days before they air.

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    10. As long as I know a link will lead to a spoiler, no problem.. I won’t click on it. This site spoils tons of stuff, but is almost religious about hiding them under the fold or in a grey fog, where only people who want to see it end up seeing it.

      It’s when people post with out spoiler tags, or add stuff to an open twitter post with a GOT hashtag, or (worst of all) confirm or refute people’s innocent guesses about future events based on their knowledge of leaks.. that’s the sort of stuff that bothers me. The rest of you can knock yourselves out with leaked info if you feel like it.

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    11. I hate this kind of crap. If intellectual property theft becomes ubiquitous because hackers can’t resist showing off how nothing can stop them, and anyone feels entitled to get whatever they can for free on the Internet, what incentive remains for professionals in the arts to go on working and creating the stuff that audiences want?

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    12. lol

      Bran did it, hacked the Weir Wood internet etc

      Generally aim to avoid spoiler leaks in order to enjoy the show, don’t mind the usual behind the scenes pictures and the fun of speculating though

      Though obviously people raise little snippets of the Reddit leaks from time to time so I have some gauge as to what happens unfortunately, eg heard about Olenna taking poison and admitted to being behind Joffreys death. That said there’s still some pleasant surprises in the dialogue and how she goes out like a Boss

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    13. Moving towards a Netflix model and releasing the entire season in one day, allowing people to watch in their own time seems to provide the answer to this. Though, as long as the HBO channel exists in the traditional sense this won’t happen anytime soon. Until it moves to streaming based only there’s not much that can be done to stop or discourage this type of thing.

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    14. Dee Stark,

      Well yes including some of the dialogue for example the Jon/Dany first meeting and the Tyrion/Jon first interaction and what Bran says to Sansa,what Lf says to Sansa,Olenna’s last monologue.So these hackers can sit down haha.

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    15. Thanks for the info Sue the Fury –

      now I know where to stay away from….

      only 4 more season 7 episodes

      Season 7 is going so fast

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    16. I think somebody beat them to the punch ages ago for leaking this season. I know i read a load of spoilers last year about this season that I assumed was made up drivel but it has been spot on so far.

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    17. HelloThere,

      It’s also filled with people who praise the show blindly, and who have already decreed it’s the best season ever.

      I don’t think criticizing what is known about the leaks is unreasonable. Obviously one reserves final judgment into we see the final product.

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    18. Seriously?
      HBO better get there shit together for season 8. Thankfully WotW always handles this type of stuff very well.

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    19. I’ve managed to avoid the spoilers this year for the most part, and am very glad I did. But I’m starting to feel like the trailers and previews are getting into spoiler territory.

      I mean, I kinda wondered if, after the reunion with Nymeria, Arya might decide to turn back to Kings Landing. By saying “that’s not you”, I thought maybe, just maybe, she was speaking to herself as much as to her direwolf.

      But now with the trailer, I know that’s not true. Sometimes a little mystery is part of the fun, especially in a show with so many twists and turns!

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    20. Seeing leaks such as filming spoilers doesn’t really bother me as when I’ve seen the episodes up to now, I just think – Ah, that was filmed on the beach in Zumaia or the pathway up the cliffs to a small church (cleverly replaced digitally by the castle of Dragstone), etc.

      However, when things like scripts are leaked, that is REALLY BAD NEWS for the show runners, HBO and for the many fans who try and avoid spoilers.

      More out of curiosity, I dropped into the quarantine pages on the forum before ep2 and 3 were aired and just couldn’t believe how accurate those leaks were! No way were those educated guess or speculations…. That info came direct from scripts 🙁

      HBO really need to tighten up their security. The actors who receive the scripts I read have to go through a two layer password procedure, but it would seem if the servers that hold this data are wide open to hacker attacks, there is sometime fundamentally wrong here!

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    21. People can choose whether to read the leaks or not, but what really annoys me is seeing leaked images whenever I open my Instagram “explore” section and I see them without wanting to, or Youtube videos with a title that says it all.

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    22. I don’t really care about the leaks — like people have said, leaks have been making the rounds for a while now, and I don’t really think they’ve hurt the show’s ratings or HBO’s income. But these hackers also got employee’s personal information, and that is just wrong. So for that reason more than the leaks, I hope they get caught.

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    23. I read the S7 plot outline last year because I was too curious to know what will happen and whilst this was six months ago (or more) there have still been enough surprises to keep me happy as the show has aired. For example I knew Olenna was going to die by poison and Jamie would take Highgarden but I had no idea the Unsullied would fall into a trap at Castlerly Rock and suffer huge losses so there were surprises. That said, I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers in recent weeks, unfortunately I read a very detailed one from the next episode which I’m not really happy with (it’s a detailed script based leak from a plot point in the outline) and I really want to avoid any more like that. I also read that the full scripts for the first three episodes were posted on-line and people were quoting stuff on twitter so there is a lot out there.

      What makes me really worried is could these hackers could potentially have the S8 script and how do we know the same total plot outline won’t appear on Reddit in the coming days and weeks? I’m assuming at this point the remaining part of the story is only known to a few dozen people at best so it would almost certainly require a hack to leak it.

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    24. Some spoilers for season 8 have leaked. Those might or might not be real. I saw a huge one by accident. It’s very, very dissapointing in every sense… Which makes me think it’s true. It dissapoints me deeply. Why do I think it’s true? Season seven leaks looked fake and simple; and all are truth. Why wouldn’t these be true? I sure hope they ain’t.

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    25. Javier Vela Martín,

      “Some spoilers for season 8 have leaked. Those might or might not be real.”
      ————-
      ————–
      Don’t worry about it. There’s already a consortium that’s going to make up a bunch of fake leaks for S8 to keep the overinquisitive happy, while protecting true fans from having their experience spoiled.

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    26. Jon Snowed: I had no idea the Unsullied would fall into a trap at CastlerlyRock and suffer huge losses

      Well, the Unsullied didn’t suffer huge losses since Casterly Rock was lightly defended so probably why there was no leak about that.

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    27. Firannion:
      I hate this kind of crap. If intellectual property theft becomes ubiquitous because hackers can’t resist showing off how nothing can stop them, and anyone feels entitled to get whatever they can for free on the Internet, what incentive remains for professionals in the arts to go on working and creating the stuff that audiences want?

      Money

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    28. Ten Bears:
      Javier Vela Martín,

      “Some spoilers for season 8 have leaked. Those might or might not be real.”
      ————-
      ————–Don’t worry about it. There’s already a consortium that’s going to make up a bunch of fake leaks for S8 to keep the overinquisitive happy, while protecting true fans from having their experience spoiled.

      I doubt that .. Kit said the same thing after we had all kinds of leaks already and those “fake” scenes made to throw off the leaks ended up being real leaks after all ..

      I mean they might, but I doubt HBO is going to throw a ton of money at fake leaks of any substance because the show is ending, they will be more interested in maximizing the money and with all of the outdoor shots there’s bound to be, they won’t be able to contain it.

      It’s pretty inevitable, most of the big shows have this problem.. TWD suffers from it constantly.. Game of Thrones has done much better at containing plot and set photos than TWD has done.. in my opinion

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    29. Firannion,

      Because they still still make a boatload of money – leaks, piracy, or otherwise?? 😉

      Besides, true artists must create. It’s their reason to exist. Sure, hackers suck but like so much in technology, science, or even media today, that Pandoras Box is open and can’t be put back. So long as there is an internet, nothing is truly safe.

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    30. They probably “hacked” their way into an unsecured server, with a lame password, meant for press early reviews. Since HBO is no longer providing press with early screeners for GOT, it is highly unlikely the hackers got anything more than BTS, episode description, and maybe an early tease.

      We already know what happens this season (those who want to know) because of a Reddit leaker called Lads. This Friki everyone is losing their shit over is just some dude pretending to know shit based on Lads’ info (which is why he gets things wrong).

      The season 8 “leak” from 4chan is bullshit.

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    31. Jenny,

      Can you believe there’s already rumors of some purported leaks for S8? I’m determined to stay unspoiled for the ending of this story I’ve invested much time in but if they do end up going all the way to 2019 for the release I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist.

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    32. Markus Stark,

      I don’t know much about the television biz but it seems to me the level of leaking that goes on with this show, must be “allowed” to a degree. To keep up chatter/hype during the off season perhaps?

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    33. Well, leaked or not, I will watch it when it officially comes out. It happened with S5 episodes and I didn’t prematurely watch any of them. And so will be the case here.

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    34. ygritte:
      Jenny,

      Can you believe there’s already rumors of some purported leaks for S8? I’m determined to stay unspoiled for the ending of this story I’ve invested much time in but if they do end up going all the way to 2019 for the release I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist.

      ^^^^^^THIS!! I am not going to read any S8 spoilers as I’m going to go all Dee Stark for next season my only question is do we think these could be genuine given the hack as otherwise I don’t believe them simply because at this stage so few people will have access to the scripts. I doubt it’s more than a few dozen people, the show writers, GRRM, and a few of the key production staff who are planning filming locations for next season.

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    35. I don’t understand why people are hacking HBO. It’s really disrespectful. People are working for years, spending millions of dollars and they steal their work. I mean I think of myself, I just published a fantasy book in my country and it’s going to be a series. I would so sad if they steal my second book. Don’t steal other’s work, people! They’re really working hardly to create them!

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    36. Jon Snowed,

      I didn’t click on the thread, just saw the title, but there aren’t a crazy amount of comments and it was posted hours ago so I tend to think it’s probably fake. I mean, D&D said the scripts were completed but something tells me they wouldn’t put them anywhere hack-able. Especially how upset they must be about the S7 stuff to get completely leaked and so far ahead of time.

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    37. Thanks Sue! By the way and sorry to ask you directly but do you feel the show runners identified the source (or method) in which the Season 7 leaks got out and have taken steps to stop it happening for the finale six episodes?

      I know they can’t stop every little thing but I really want to avoid a whole season outline appearing somewhere and spoiling the conclusion to the story.

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    38. orange,

      There’s something to be said about stretching out the 7 episodes. If they were all on netflix I would watch them all in a day, and then have another whole year in waiting…

      Regarding spoilers, I think watchersonthewall.com is a great place to go to stay informed but still feel safe from major spoilers. Most people use the gray box, and there is even an unsullied area. With the leak of the entire season, I can tell you I was very tempted. I am so into GOT that I had the real thought that ‘what if i die before the season starts’ I know that sounds stupid, but I really thought that way for a few minutes…I want to know what happens!! I did read one or two of the leaks and then I shut it down. And now that the season started, I really stay away from leaks other than what you can see in the official released HBO stuff. I do get into the preview break downs frame by frame, but it’s fun guessing what’s going to happen next. It’s not as fun knowing for sure. Regarding this new leak. I was doing a search for GOT news and I came across some things about episode 4 that looked like an outline of the episode and I shut it down. I am with Maisie Williams who talked about leaks. This relates more to the entire season leak than the latest hack…“But then it’s even more annoying when you know [the leaks] might be from someone on the inside, and it’s just like… you’re trying to make something really cool, that is really cool, and people really like, and it’s like ‘stop ruining it’.

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    39. Markus Stark,

      The solution is to not put anything online – everything needs to be done on typewriter or by hand. These need to be kept under lock and key in an underground bunker somewhere. That might keep hacks from happening. Or, not. I can’t get angry about it anymore, because no one seems to be able to do anything about it, and I prefer to use my energy to be angry about things that matter. I just feel badly for those who really want to be spoiler free. I am not sure thats possible without avoiding all media, both high tech or not,.

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