HBO Hackers Take It To the Next Level and Get More Dramatic

Macall B. Polay - HBO (Photo 8)

If Game of Thrones fans thought we were in the clear when it came to the hacking now that “The Spoils of War” has aired, think again.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed today the hackers responsible for the recent major breach of HBO contacted the outlet by email, and provided proof that they’d successfully hacked the network, and weren’t done causing trouble. As THR describes it, they were given “a publicly accessible link to a cache of internal documents, including a script summary of an upcoming Game of Thrones episode and a month’s worth of emails from the inbox of one of the company’s executives.” The content included nine files with items marked “Script GOT7,” and “Confidential,” with this folder containing info about scripts, casting and more. THR reports that the confidential files included a “detailed summary” of next week’s new episode of Game of Thrones.

And what do these hackers expect to achieve with their shenanigans? It’s your basic shakedown.

The hackers provided demands in a letter to HBO CEO Richard Plepler. (And I have to give the hackers credit for their dramatic flair with their letter. Go big or go home, I suppose.) The email contact is apparently in scroll-form, and “set to ominous music” per THR, as they lay out their financial demands. The precise amount was not published, but we can imagine it was probably a very large sum.

As always HBO assures everyone they’re on the case but with the content already in the wild, I don’t feel terribly reassured, to be honest.

36 responses

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    1. Joke’s on them, there’s already a pretty detailed set of spoilers for next week’s episode available online for free.

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    2. Pigeon,

      There isn’t one. The really funny thing is that I doubt these elite hackers even bothered to research that, and were probably completely unaware that Reddit beat them to the punch months ago.

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    3. They shouldn’t pay a dime. People will watch anyway, even if they are spoiled. It’s not like they’re gonna read about what’s coming down and not want to watch it. And if they do watch it like last week’s leak, they’ll still watch it on Sunday.

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    4. If only the fandom was still limited to what it was in the beginning. You know, how book readers were generally very considerate in keeping events secret because we wanted Unsullied to experience them the way we had when reading.

      I’m assuming these hackers aren’t even GoT fans if their goal is to blackmail. They’re not very good ones if they are. Aside from all that, how much will it really have on the bottom line for HBO? People that are subscribers are already paying and will watch when the episodes air even if they do watch beforehand. Those that were pirating already will still pirate. As far as I can see it ruins it for people like us that like to discuss during the week more than anything.

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    5. Pigeon:
      We already have detailed script leaks, what is their point aside from being twatwaffles?

      What is a twatwaffle? Are they best with maple syrup?

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    6. Must have been something to watch shows in the 90’s and prior. Not that shows back then were on the level of ones now but still.

      This is just wrong.

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    7. QueenofThrones,

      https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gameofspoils-game-of-thro/ipjhpmdippbajafafidlinjjmfkdamci?hl=en

      I really like it. The only problem is it works too well and will block anything Game of Thrones related. But when news like this breaks I’d rather err on the side of caution. Plus you can easily disable it whenever and re-enable it when you know you’re going to be in risky territory (YouTube recommendations for me).

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    8. Lol why would hbo pay them? I wont read the spoilers cuz i dont wanna be spoiled, but if i did, i would still watch the show.
      Noone is gonna read spoilers and say “well now i dont have to watch it.”
      Hbo doesnt recieve a dollar amount per viewing, they already got the money from everyones subscription

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    9. HBO should tell these hackers to shove their demands up their asses and not pay a penny! The onus is on HBO to tighten up their security and will have to accept ‘The barn door has been left open and the horse bolted!’

      I’m sure the ancient DOS PC that GRRM uses to write his novels is not connected to the internet! I’m no expert on these things, but perhaps HBO would be off using a private network and running on Linux or similar which is a lot more difficult to remotely hack into.

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    10. This is so silly, no point in threatening HBO with leaking things as the entire season was already leaked by Lads before they even finished filming so what possible leverage do the hackers think they can use that isn’t already out there.

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    11. My message to the hackers: meh. Look, I love the books, I love the shows, but I have a limited amount of time to spend on this crap and I am content to wait for next Sunday evening to come round. And reading a leaked script is nothing next to sitting down on Sunday night with my wife to watch it happen. Stupid parasites.

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    12. I’m just hoping they didn’t get any season 8 scripts, because we could be dodging spoilers for a long time if those get leaked this early. Avoiding S7 spoilers for a few more weeks shouldn’t be too hard, since summaries leaked a while ago anyway, but if the final ending of S8 leaks, that could be bad.

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    13. I’m really worried about Season 8. I don’t want to have to dodge spoilers till 2019. HBO needs to get its shit together.

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    14. mau,

      There are some floating on youtube, however they don’t make much sense yet. After all, the story (any story) is not so much about who dies or ascends to the throne, but rather about how and under what circumstances. And it’s impossible to convey that in some clumsy written summary leak. Take the Lad’s leaks or BOB leaks for instance: many things made litte to no sense there and left us confused. However, now when we see a full picture, everything feels just right (at least for me).
      As for these leaks, as a spoiler lover I would love HBO making all all the scripts in advance in respone: I would gladly take them as a substitute for the books and pay accordingly. GoT is too good to watch it for shock value: I like delving into details and shock ruins that pleasure to me. Anyway for me leaks serve like a promotional material. So, IMO HBO could simply thank the hackers for promoting GoT in Bran style and be done with that.

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    15. Clob:
      If only the fandom was still limited to what it was in the beginning.You know, how book readers were generally very considerate in keeping events secret because we wanted Unsullied to experience them the way we had when reading.

      I’m assuming these hackers aren’t even GoT fans if their goal is to blackmail.They’re not very good ones if they are.Aside from all that, how much will it really have on the bottom line for HBO?People that are subscribers are already paying and will watch when the episodes air even if they do watch beforehand.Those that were pirating already will still pirate.As far as I can see it ruins it for people like us that like to discuss during the week more than anything.

      I don’t know if I would agree with that generally… Did your ever see the people in westeros.org? Linda has promised to spoil the ending of the show as a response to the show spoiling the books.

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    16. Pigeon:
      We already have detailed script leaks, what is their point aside from being twatwaffles?

      Pigeon,

      I’m really more of a twatpancake kind of guy, but I’m open to anything, really.

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    17. Truth of the matter is you can read them/watch them and be spoiled (like I was last season and ended up not enjoying it as much as previous seasons) or NOT read them/watch them and be completely surprised. I don’t think HBO should pay them because someone is always there to ruin the fun of others. Why pay someone not to when people do it for free anyway?

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    18. The original Stargaryen: I don’t know if I would agree with that generally… Did your ever see the people in westeros.org? Linda has promised to spoil the ending of the show as a response to the show spoiling the books.

      Which part do you disagree? That the hackers must not be (very good) GoT fans? Certain people at that site aren’t very good fans of the show, specifically Linda. They may be rabid ASoIaF fans but they’ve shit on the show consistently.

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    19. Clob:
      If only the fandom was still limited to what it was in the beginning.You know, how book readers were generally very considerate in keeping events secret because we wanted Unsullied to experience them the way we had when reading.

      If that were the case it probably wouldn’t even be on anymore. Maybe SyFy would have picked it up, and you’d be watching D level CGI of Drogon.

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    20. I’ve been avoiding Watchers this week as I feel pretty unsullied for the forthcoming episode but pretty pleased nothing seems to have leaked in the comments sections. I really do worry about S8 but at this stage I doubt more than a few dozen people know how it ends (GRRM, D&D, Cogman, Hill and some of the key production staff I’d imagine) so the Hackers would have to get very lucky to steal that sort of thing.

      The real danger for me is when the scripts are distributed in September as we are probably looking at over 100 people knowing the ending or key plot points at that point.

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