Monday 20 January 2020

Hackers target HBO and threaten to release Game of Thrones content

Emilia Clarke as Khaleesi in Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Khaleesi in Game of Thrones Newsdesk Newsdesk

Hackers are threatening to leak new episodes of Game of Thrones after breaching the security systems of U.S. cable network HBO.

The anonymous cyber criminals went public with their online attack on Sunday, when they emailed a number of reporters and claimed to have obtained previously unreleased footage from the cult fantasy drama series.

HBO bosses confirmed it had fallen victim to hackers on Monday, as upcoming episodes of the network's shows Ballers, starring Dwayne Johnson, and Room 104 surfaced online.

A script purported to be from August 6 instalment of Game of Thrones' seventh season was also published on the Internet, as the culprits promised more would be "coming soon".

In a statement issued to E! News, HBO executives shared: "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."

It's not the first time TV executives have had to fight Game of Thrones footage from leaking - in 2015, the first four episodes of season five were illegally distributed online before the series, which stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, premiered.

The latest hacking incident emerges three months after servers for streaming service Netflix were targeted, resulting in the latest season of Orange Is the New Black leaking early, while in June, Disney boss Bob Iger denied reports suggesting their security systems had been compromised, amid claims the recent Pirates of the Caribbean film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, was being held ransom.

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