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Leaked Email Reveals HBO Negotiating with Hackers


This week, one email of HBO was released by the hackers stating that the company has expressed the willingness of paying them $250,000 as per negotiation over the data swiped from servers of HBO.


John Beyler, an executive with HBO, sent an email on July 27th thanking hackers for "making us aware" of earlier unidentified security vulnerabilities. Beyler asked for one week delay, besides saying that HBO was ready to make the payment of $250,000 on "good faith", calling it "bug bounty" reward for the IT professionals instead of a ransom.


HBO refused to make any comment. One person, who was close to the enquiry, has confirmed the email authenticity, but added that it was an effort to gain some time and also assess the situation. Subsequently, same hackers have released 2 dumps of the HBO material, and then demanded a ransom worth multi-million dollar.


The HBO employee has been cautious of wordings. The employee has used the term "bug bounty payment" instead of referring to a ransom. Cnbc.com posted on August 11th, 2017, stating that several technology organisations have bug programs in which they reward good hackers for finding security vulnerabilities.


The amount of $250,000 is also well short of "six months' salary" request in the video letter made by the hacker claiming to make $12 Mn to $15 Mn per year. Hackers responsible for the HBO hack claim to have more data including forthcoming episodes of HBO shows and movies, scripts and other information which are harmful to HBO.


The Post reported that HBO publicly disclosed the hack on 31st July following a leak which included "the unofficial release of many forthcoming TV episodes from the series 'Insecure', 'Ballers' and 'Room 104' along with a script for a coming episode of 'Game of Thrones.'"


One document seems to have contained the secret list of cast for Game of Thrones listing email addresses and personal telephone numbers of actors like Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke. The biggest threat of hackers seems to be dumping videos of future shows online with their logo "HBO Is Falling" superimposed. They claim that HBO is their 17th target and only three of their past targets refused to pay.

» SPAMfighter News - 8/18/2017

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