The network have had a major "cyber incident" over the weekend.
Over the weekend, a select group of reporters were sent an anonymous email by somebody claiming to be a hacker and who teased "the greatest leak of cyber space era (sic)". They pushed the reporters to spread the "leak" attached to the email, and promised an interview to whichever reporter would spread the word about the hacking furthest. They signed the email off with the blunt statement "HBO is falling."
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Though no episodes of 'Game of Thrones' were sent within the email, the hacker released scripts for what is said to be the fourth episode of the hit fantasy series, and claimed to pick up 1.5 terabytes of data. Upcoming episodes of 'Room 104' and 'Ballers' have allegedly also been placed online.
"“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the network revealed in a statement released earlier today (July 31). “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.”
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HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler also sent an email to employees at the network, writing: "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."
'GoT' has proven to be a victim of its own success throughout the years. Ahead of its fifth season premiere, the first four episodes of that season were leaked online, leading to some huge pirating numbers across the board. Since that point, the network have ceased sending advance review copies of episodes to critics in advance of them airing on television.
Accidental leaks have also taken place, with Comic Con trailers hitting YouTube ahead of time and images of pivotal episode moments finding their way onto the web before they'd been seen on screen. This new hack however feels a lot more sinister. Exactly what happens next remains to be seen.
'Game of Thrones' continues Sundays in the US on HBO and Mondays in the UK on Sky Atlantic.