HBO has become the latest major entertainment company to suffer a significant security breach.
Hackers have claimed to have taken up roughly 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO. They have yet to release all of the obtained data, which as of now includes upcoming episodes of Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson’s Ballers and the Duplass Brother’s Room 104. As of right now, future Game of Thrones season 7 episodes appear to be safe, although the script for next Sunday’s episode four appears to be making the rounds across the internet.
The company made this statement to Entertainment Weekly:
“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.”
HBO has not commented on what content could have been acquired by the hackers, who have promised to release more soon.
In 2014 hackers breached roughly 100 terabytes of Sony Entertainment data. While HBO has not suffered nearly as bad of a breach, anything regarding its powerhouse Game of Thrones could be fairly damaging. The show is currently the highest rated show on cable, and recorded a series high number of viewers this season.
EW also published an email sent out to HBO staff from CEO and chairman Richard Plepler. He wrote:
As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming. Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us.
I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean. It is a textbook example of quintessential HBO teamwork. The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of.
As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully.
This isn’t the first time HBO has been subject to Game of Thrones breaches. In 2015 the first four episodes of season 5 were leaked before the show’s season premiere after the company had sent out its usual review DVDs to the press. As expected, in season 6 and the current season 7, the press did not receive any advanced copies.
2017 has been a busy year for hackers in the TV space. Earlier this year Netflix suffered a hack that led to the release of episodes from the most recent season of its hit series Orange is the New Black.