While fighting this battle, HBO is also attempting to limit the damage caused by pirating with each passing season resulting in another record breaking number of people watching the show illegally. This included scripts and videos of highly anticipated shows like Ballers, Insecure, Game of Thrones, and even emails and other internal documents from the network. HBO responded to the hacker's request with its own, much lower offer of $250,000 as "bounty payment", asking the hackers to extend the ransom payment deadline, according to messages obtained by Variety.
As well as releasing the video, the hackers also released 3.5GB of files containing administrator passwords, Game of Thrones scripts and a month's worth of emails from Leslie Cohen, HBO's vice president for film programming. However, the email to THR is from the same account going by "Mr. Smith" that has sent previous messages and proof of stolen content. THR has confirmed that the executive works for HBO in a technology capacity.
"You have the advantage of having surprised us".
Then, on Thursday, they released several phone numbers and home addresses belonging to some of the cast from Game of Thrones.
It should be noted that this email was sent before both the data dumps.
Game of Thrones, now in its penultimate season, is the most popular show in HBO's history and has always been a target of digital piracy.
Polygon has reached out to HBO for comment on the investigation and will update when more information is made available. "We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us".