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– by Drew Carlton

Before the start of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, the first four episodes were hacked and released early. It appears a similar situation may have happened again, as EW is reporting that up to 1.5 TB of information has been compromised.

Related: What Will Dany Do Now???

HBO confirmed this in a statement:

“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 cyber security firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”

An email was sent to the employees from HBO chairman and CEO Richard Pleple, stating:

“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.”

The hackers reportedly obtained the script for Season 7, Episode 4 of Game of Thrones. Additionally, an episode of Ballers and the show Room 104 have apparently been released, and the hackers issued a statement Sunday which reads:

“Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.”

There have been reports over the last year that Netflix may be changing HBO’s line of thinking due to the way people binge watch, and the growing dominance of Netflix. There are positives and negatives to this, such as weekly water cooler talks about the show, or wanting to watch a show at your own pace, but that’s a different story in and of itself. The fact of the matter, is the way we consume media is changing. Any 13-year-old can, within a few months, get proficient at a certain operating system, while 40-year-old system administrators still use an “easy” one with massive security holes.

I have always thought that simply making content available online, and charging a reasonable price, would eliminate these hacks. I feel bad for HBO, and I do not support “black hat” hacking. However, I think the best solution is simply to give in to the binge. In 10 years we will look back and wonder why we couldn’t get an entire season for $15 the day it aired, and I firmly believe the youth would take advantage of this, and very little income would be lost.

The question still remains, will the rest of the Game of Thrones, Ballers, or the new show be leaked in the upcoming days? Your guess is as good as mine, but I truly hope they do not, because I like the weekly debate.

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