Culture&Arts

HBO reportedly offered hackers a $250000 'bug bounty payment'

HBO reportedly offered hackers a $250000 'bug bounty payment'

HBO's parent company, Time Warner Inc., is now seeking federal government approval for an $85.4 billion takeover of the company by AT&T.

The hack suffered by HBO has been in the headlines for the last couple of weeks, not least because it led to the leak of episodes and scripts.

Hackers this week released an email from HBO in which the company expressed willingness to pay them US$250,000 as part of a negotiation over data swiped from HBO's servers.

In what appears to be an effort to embarrass HBO, the email dated July 27 and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter indicates a negotiation going on between the network and the hackers. If HBO sets a precedent of opening their treasure chests for securing their information, such cases of security breaches might augment encouraging other cyber criminals to attack wealthy entities to receive the ransom. CNBC further noted that the employee who sent the email to the hacking group were very careful with their wording, referring to the offer of $250,000 as a bug bounty payment rather than a ransom payment.

"Game of Thrones" episode 4 was leaked online before its release on the Indian streaming app Hotstar.




The network acknowledged the hack in late July and the thieves are demanding a multimillion-dollar ransom. The hacker claimed to make $12 million to $15 million per year.

"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", the HBO exec says in the email. "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week".

The hackers did not respond to a request for comment through the email address they used to communicate with HBO.

"Game of Thrones" is one of the shows to be attacked.

Among other series leaked by the hacker included the latest episode of HBO comedy "Insecure", which was to have premiered tonight.