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Game of Thrones Hackers Demand Ransom (bbc.com) 70

An anonymous reader shares a report: Hackers who have leaked Game of Thrones scripts and other data from entertainment company HBO have released a note demanding a ransom payment. In a new dump, they also published a script for the as yet unbroadcast fifth episode of the current series. Company documents and video episodes of other HBO shows were also shared. The hackers claim to have 1.5TB of data in total, but HBO has said it does not believe its email system has been compromised. Documents in the latest leak were marked "HBO is falling," according to the Wired news site, and included legal information, employment agreements and other company files. The Associated Press reports that some documents appeared to contain personal contact information for Game of Thrones actors.
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Game of Thrones Hackers Demand Ransom

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Hackers" have stolen a bunch of mediocre ass-time video that I can't be bothered to hunt down on creepy file sharing sites before it appears in the mail on DVD in a few months. I can't imagine HBO paying these creeps a dime; they have no actual reason to do so.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sony pictures CEO lost her job from email leaks. They might not care about scripts and episodes, but executives are worried about having their dirty laundry out today in the open.

    • That 'mediocre ass-time video' had 10.1 million viewers last episode. You may not think it is, but it's kind of a big deal.

      • That 'mediocre ass-time video' had 10.1 million viewers last episode. You may not think it is, but it's kind of a big deal.

        That's just the thing. Maybe a few hundred thousand of the fans will watch it, but they'll also watch it when it airs, and they'll watch it again online in the HBO site, and they'll buy the entire season again on BluRay. People who watch it early will talk about it and generate buzz for more views as well.

        The amount they could lose on the episode specifically is a tiny drop in the bucket and may even increase total ad revenue. The executives are more worried about dirt on the people, the incriminating emai

        • The executives are more worried about dirt on the people, the incriminating emails like bosses running away with the secretary for a weekend...

          That would be in the House of Cards episodes.

        • And if they pay this group, the episodes are going to be leaked by a completely independent team of indian hacker who managed to get their hand on pre-review material.

          And if these indian got arrested in time, some other group will manage to release the video acquired by yet another method.

          There simply is no way paying a ransom to avoid leaking videos online, even if you're 100% sure that the guys asking for the money are honnest and won't release it anyway after running away with the money.

  • Yeah...good luck with that...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can ransomware hospitals, schools, home computers, but you mess with the MPAA and they will sick their fbi lapdogs on you. Don't drop the soap.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The hackers claim to have 1.5TB of data in total, but HBO has said it does not believe its email system has been compromised."

    Why the but? These two clauses are causally unrelated. Unless HBO is asserting the only method by which the hackers could come into possession of company documents and video is via an email hack.

    Try:

    "Company documents and video episodes of other HBO shows were also shared, and the hackers claim to have 1.5TB of data in total. HBO has said it does not believe its email system has bee

    • From the notes the hackers left, this sounds like a typical "advanced persistent threat" operation.

      Step 1) get someone inside the network to open your Office doc containing a shell script that downloads and installs command-and-control ("C2") software (these days it seems there's often a base64-encoded Powershell script involved in here somewhere)
      Step 2) using the C2 software, quietly poke around the network until you find some juicy targets and accounts to elevate
      Step 3) grab the goods
      Step 4) quietly exfil
    • Why the but? These two clauses are causally unrelated.

      The executives do not care if the shows are leaked. A few of the fans will see it early, they'll still watch it when it airs, they'll watch it again on the HBO web site, and they'll buy the season on BluRay.

      But email, that's another matter entirely. Email has details about weekend getaways with the secretaries. Email has discussions about which stars need coke deliveries to their trailer (not the soda). Email includes salary negotiations and how one actor did something with somebody that explains their ma

  • Don't pay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @11:37AM (#54965359)

    Any GoT fan worth their salt would likely go out of their way to avoid learning any spoilers (especially from criminals leaking scripts) until they can enjoy the episode at the same time as friends and co-workers, then spend hours the next day discussing the episode instead of working. The thieves got nothing of value. ($.02)

    • Re:Don't pay (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @11:43AM (#54965419)
      Back in the day I remember a leak of a Star Trek movie script before the movie was released (it was the one with "Orbital Skydiving" at the beginning of the movie)

      As a fan of Star Trek, the spoilers werent enough to keep me from reading it. What fueled my desire to read it was a curiosity about Star Trek scripts and how that translates to the screen.
    • No, any GoT fan worth their salt would sell a kidney to get their hands on GRRMs unwritten books, notes and outlines so they can lord it over the TV watching "normals" who get the entirety of their GoT knowledge from 1 hour fixes on the show.

      Simply getting the TV show ahead of time wouldn't really fan the flame of self-righteousness.

      • No, GoT fans obsess about spoilers and avoid being exposed to them at all costs. ASoIaF fans would sell a body part to obtain GRRMs notes in order to lord them over the aforementioned GoT fans. ASoIaF fans will also be sure to make sure you know that "Game of Thrones" is just the name of the TV show, named after the first book in the series "A Game of Thrones", and "A Song of Ice and Fire" is the actual name for the series of books as a whole.

        • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

          No, GoT fans obsess about spoilers and avoid being exposed to them at all costs. ASoIaF fans would sell a body part to obtain GRRMs notes in order to lord them over the aforementioned GoT fans.

          At this point in the series, why would they? The show has moved beyond the books in terms of story progression and while the producers are working with GRRM, they have said that the stories could very likely diverge on many points. The general plot lines could remain similar, but the show has already shown a willingness to kill off people alive in the books and vice versa, or focus on separate subplots. Really any book vs show "conflict" is nothing more than tribalism.

          • by zlives ( 2009072 )

            and before this season, those of us that read the books (spoilers?) still watched the show so who cares, don't pay!!!

      • No, any GoT fan worth their salt would sell a kidney to get their hands on GRRMs unwritten books

        Still writing books is he? I thought he stopped years ago.

      • I came here to laff at your folly and ridicule you heavily, but harperska got you good so I'll keep it short.

        Book nerds would be pretentious assholes about ASOIAF, not GOT. What does that make you? You're not a pretentious GoT asshole, or a pretentious "the books are better, have you even read the books?" asshole, you're just an asshole.

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      Agreed. TV Viewers managed about five seasons with most major plot points available online and still enjoyed the show. They either read the spoilers if they were curious or kept away if they wanted to be surprised.

      Any non-book readers who enjoyed the first five seasons will enjoy the seventh season even if it becomes spoiled on Reddit.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @11:43AM (#54965423)

    Half of the main characters will die.

    Just like every season.

    • Damn it don't spoil it for me I am only in season 4.

      I watched for a while and then cut cable and hbo out. Girlfriend did the same but seperatly. Now we both want to watch it and are binge watching it. 4.5 seasons in 3 weeks. I figure we will start season 7 just about as it ends. Plus side you get a good sense of the backstory binge watching it.

      Next on the list is that she has never seen Star Wars. And I need to figure out what order to introduce it to her in. I am thinking. Rogue one episodes 4,5,6, 7

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        Damn it don't spoil it for me I am only in season 4.

        I wouldn't read any articles about Game of Thrones then. Just get out of this thread all together.

      • Next on the list is that she has never seen Star Wars. And I need to figure out what order to introduce it to her in. I am thinking. Rogue one episodes 4,5,6, 7 Then 1,2,3 for a bit of campy background

        4, 5, 6, Ewok Christmas Special, Safe Sex PSA, done.

    • by sehlat ( 180760 )

      Half of the main characters will die.

      Just like every season.

      So the half-life of a Game of Thrones main character is one season?

    • Half of the main characters will die.

      Just like every season.

      Exactly, the part everybody wants to know, is "who lives?"

  • Send a Dragon there way that will get them!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Be uploading to various topsites that trickle down to us torrent-using plebeians! Yarr, shiver me timbers

  • "The hackers claim to have 1.5TB of data in total, but HBO has said it does not believe its email system has been compromised."

    You could take the script for EVERY game of thrones episode and fit it onto a single CD-ROM... without compression. The hackers have ***1.5TB of data***. You don't get that much data from scripts. They obviously have video. I don't know about HBO, but you don't usually go EMAILING video back and forth in your organization.
  • This is the best advertisement HBO can get. Probably a staged 'hack' intended to get more media coverage. Anyone who goes to the trouble to find this is almost certainly a watching fan already and will undoubtedly watch the download and then binge on past episodes, then watch the new stuff, posting to twitter and Facebook all the way along. I've read the song of fire and ice as well as the wildcards trust for a long time, but I've never actually seen an episode on HBO.

    • This is the best advertisement HBO can get. Probably a staged 'hack' intended to get more media coverage. Anyone who goes to the trouble to find this is almost certainly a watching fan already and will undoubtedly watch the download and then binge on past episodes, then watch the new stuff, posting to twitter and Facebook all the way along. I've read the song of fire and ice as well as the wildcards trust for a long time, but I've never actually seen an episode on HBO.

      That is extremely unlikely--less than 1%. Generally a bad idea to directly fake being a victim of a crime. It can easily get you arrested if you do it wrong. (Most obviously by making any false reports to authorities). It can also make you look incredibly bad if anyone finds out. In this case, we know the FBI is already involved in the investigation and lying to FBI agents is a crime.

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.c... [hollywoodreporter.com]

      In addition, HBO just doesn't need to go to such lengths for more media coverage for Throne

  • There. I just published the script for everyone. *Spoiler alert*

  • To be honest, I watch the show for the drama and the action. The "reveals" are cool, too, but hardly the reason why every episode is causing me to watch it. After the show airs, they have literally nothing of value. Right now, they have extremely weak leverage that they can release to the world and only the people who are incapable of waiting for the episode will find out what's going to happen. Those of us who aren't interested in spoilers will wait until the episodes air, and we'll be just fine with it. I

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