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HBO CEO: ‘We Do Not Believe That Our E-Mail System as a Whole Has Been Compromised’

”But the forensic review is ongoing,“ Richard Plepler tells employees in internal email

HBO boss Richard Plepler assured his staff on Wednesday that, “At this time, we do not believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised” — if that is any assurance whatsoever. He then added: “But the forensic review is ongoing.”

The premium-TV channel was hacked earlier this week, and the details of exactly what was stolen is still being sorted out.

Per a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice: “The website winter-leak.com shares thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents. The large (100GB) files linked from this page contain masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound.”

Read Plepler’s entire internal email here:
As promised, I wanted to update you on our recent cyber incident and where we currently stand. There has been and will continue to be an enormous amount of speculation in the media. It is important to understand that, as is often the case, things you read may very well not be true.

Many people have expressed particular concern about our e-mail system. At this time, we do not believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised, but the forensic review is ongoing.  We are also in the process of engaging an outside firm to work with our employees to provide credit monitoring and we will be following up with those details.

Meantime, continue to do the excellent work which defines this company across all departments and know that the appropriate teams are working round the clock to manage our way through this difficult period.


“Due to an ongoing investigation we cannot speak to any specifics,” HBO told TheWrap today when reached for comment.

Here’s what the Time Warner-owned channel said about the incident two days ago: “HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information. 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.”

Entertainment Weekly reported that the hackers obtained several unreleased episodes of “Game of Thrones,” as well as the script for the Aug. 6 episode, all of which were leaked online.

The HBO hack follows a high profile attack on Netflix by a hacker who, in April, released the current season of “Orange is the New Black” after a ransom demand against Netflix was rejected. The hacker claimed to have committed a similar attack on ABC in June, a claim Disney CEO Bob Iger denied.