The HBO hackers have demanded the cable powerhouse pay them at least $6 million to hold back on releasing more “Game of Thrones” content later in the week.
Styling themselves as “Mr. Smith,” the hackers dumped more stolen HBO files on Monday and released a five-minute video addressing CEO Richard Plepler. Mr. Smith said the group makes about $12 to $15 million a year from hacking, and insisted HBO pay them “our 6-month salary in bitcoin.”
The hackers threatened to release 1.5 terabytes of data, including full seasons of HBO shows and corporate information, if their ultimatum isn’t met within three days.
Mr. Smith’s 3.4 gigabyte release on Monday included five “Game of Thrones” scripts — including one upcoming episode — and a month’s worth of emails from an HBO executive. In a letter included with its “second wave” info dump, the hackers said it took them six months to breach HBO’s system and that the network was its 17th target.
HBO reiterated its confidence that the company’s entire email system hadn’t been compromised in a statement shared with TheWrap.
“HBO believed that further leaks might emerge from this cyber incident when we confirmed it last week,” the statement read. “As we said, the forensic review is ongoing. While it has been reported that a number of emails have been made public, the review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised.”
The hack hasn’t fazed “Game of Thrones” ratings, with the show hauling in more than 10 million viewers this Sunday — a 10 percent bump from the week before — despite the episode leaking online a few days earlier.