HBO wanted to pay $250000 to the 'Game of Thrones' hackers

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 12, 2017

The email sent by a top HBO executive was leaked by hackers to the media earlier today.

Several outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The Guardian, reported they saw a screenshot of a July 27 email sent by HBO to the group offering a $250,000 bug bounty.

Surprisingly, HBO's message to the online thief was not confrontational or angry but rather calm and a source close to the investigation said that it was worded in such a way so that the television company could stall for time to assess the situation.

The Hollywood Reporter says it got an email from the hackers August 3 saying, "It's just about money".

"[HBO has] been working hard since [July 23] to review all of the material that you have made available to us ..."

Variety reported on Wednesday morning that at least one of the leaked documents seems to have been manipulated by the hackers - to make it look like they accessed the email of HBO CEO Richard Plepler - casting doubt on the severity of the hack and the abilities of "Mr. Smith".

The $250K is just a fraction of "six months salary" request the hacker originally asked for, so who knows what they're going to do. While HBO may have had no intention of paying, it's unusual to see such a huge corporation engaging with a hacker at all.

It also contains a plea from HBO to extend the ransom-payment deadline for one week while the transfer was being made. While $250,000 in bitcoin is a lot of money to most people, it isn't almost the amount the hacker originally demanded. "As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin". The stalling tactic apparently didn't work, though. A lot of companies offer them. "It's just about money".

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