Let's backtrack: Unidentified hackers claimed they took 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO in late July - things like episodes of "Ballers" and "Room 104", as well as cast information, scripts and other data from HBO's golden egg, "Game of Thrones". The email sent by a top HBO executive was leaked by hackers to the media earlier today. HBO is not negotiating with the hackers, and the email was merely an attempt to buy some time, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday citing "a person familiar with the matter". Variety adds that the email is dated July 27, which was a few days before the hackers began to put what they have online.
The message reads, "You have the advantage of having surprised us".
Specifically, the hackers demanded "our six-month salary in bitcoin" and claimed they earned 12-15 million dollars a year (£9m-£11.5m) from blackmailing organisations whose networks they have penetrated.
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"We also have not been able to put into place the necessary infrastructure to be able to make a large payment in bitcoin, although we are taking steps to do so as you suggested", HBO exec's email. While the network is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to put an end to this, it is surprising to see that it even made an offer to the hackers.
HBO has suffered a major cyber attack, and the company is asking the hackers to extend the ransom deadline. Rather than being confrontational, appearing to offer an olive branch allows HBO to fully assess the situation. All documents that have been leaked bear a watermark with the message "HBO is Falling". A lot of companies offer them. The hackers have reportedly demanded $6 million to hold off on the release of the data. "It's just about money".