The internal leak by the overseas HBO affiliate, Star India, did not hurt the viewership of Sunday’s marvelous episode of Game of Thrones. The episode which caused many fans to consider it as the best, or at least one of the best in the shows run brought in just over 10 million viewers, narrowly beating out the Season 7 premiere according to Deadline. The “Spoils of War” appeared online on the Friday before its scheduled Sunday night viewing slot. Despite the leak of the episode, HBO’s epic fantasy series showed no loss in ratings as it was the show’s most watched episode to date.
Game of Thrones has always been unpredictable, and now with the increased pace of Season 7, the meetings and battles with major consequences are happening far more often, and fans simply can’t risk not tuning in. While they could have found the episode online days before, from what we understand, the leaked copy of the episode was not the best quality, it also had a watermark and a a blurred out time meter at the bottom. Many fans would rather wait and see incredible action the episode brought us in glorious HD, and those fans with the patience to do so were greatly rewarded.
The leak of this episode comes in turn with a breach of HBO by hackers. The hack is completely unrelated to the leak of the “Spoils of War” episode, which came from an overseas HBO partner. The intruders stole scripts, internal data and episodes of other HBO shows, including the new show Room 104. In total the hackers claim to have stolen 1.5 Terabytes of data.
Below is the letter they reportedly sent to HBO CEO Richard Plepler by the alleged hackers:
Dear Richard Plepler;
I am Mr. Smith and I have the honor to inform you, on behalf of my colleagues, that we successfully breached into your huge network.
We are glad to say that in a complicated cyber operation, infiltration to your network accomplished and we obtained most valuable informations. (1.5 Terabyte)
We confess that HBO was one of our difficult targets to deal with but we succeeded. (It took about 6 months).
By penetrating your Internal Network and other related platforms, we obtained your highly confidential Documents, IT related data, Scripts and etc. these data dump, as you will see, contains HBO’s Various Contracts, Mutual Agreements, Human resources, internal structure, International affiliates, Business strategies, international Marketing, IT infrastructures, producing films & Series (with very detail info!), budget detail for major operations, how you sell and how much!, various strategic insights in every aspects, confidential research, internal letters & Tax Evading Proofs! & Nielsen’s Dirty Job! & etc.
Also, we obtained full scripts and cast list of your (and our) very popular TV series; Game of thrones S7.
You concealed GOT7 very carefully so we can’t find it due to lack of time although we are so close. Instead, we produced some tiny mini-series of GOT 7 for you which be able to shock the entire world!!!
What we got from GOT 7 not only put an end to fate of this season but also corrupts your idea and efforts to season 8.
Don’t hesitate to search, we obtained enormous amount of Full scripts and full length films and series which will be broadcast in upcoming months! We put our logo “HBP Is Falling” on all of them for future possible release !!! We are hackers for accept our apology for amateur mixing!
Now, we have your precious data which costs you millions of dollars: Insecure2, The Deuce S1, Barry S1, Room 104 S1, Ballers S3, Vice Principals S2, Steven Spielberg Documentary, A world in disarray, Tour de Pharmacy, Deffiant Ones and etc.
We noticed that HBO seriously keeps its work products, Inventions, raw materials and etc by various security measures and confidentiality, so it’s obvious for us (and you), by revealing such data what will confront your empire.
Leakage will be your worst nightmare; your competitors will know about your current & future strategies, your inner circle inside HBO & senior staff will be thrown into chaos, your views specially fans became very upset and they blame you rather than us!, downfall in stocks will be predictable and so on. As you are in the business from decades, you yourselves will be full aware of catastrophic consequences …. So make a wise decision!
HBO is pioneering in TV programming worldwide and doesn’t want to lose this situation. More than that, HBO is promoting democracy, women rights, freedom and justice in the world and losing this leadership will be painful and catastrophic.
We are your fans as are many other ordinary people. We know that HBO walked a long way to reach current situation. By Analyzing Vivienne Eisenberg’s profile, we noticed how difficulty way you go to be the first in the market…. Our motives isn’t political nor financial. (Even we hate trump like other Americans do) Its like a game for us, we enjoy to get data. Money isn’t our main purpose.
(my colleagues argue with me about details given to you and length of this letter, but as there will be very few emails between us, I must assure you about what we have, what will be confronting you and what should be paid to settle down everything!!)
We honestly share what we got with you and frankly bring you our demand. We are whitehat hackers and it’s very shameful if you compare us with some noisy & amateur blackhat ones like Darkoverload. You will see in future steps in our operations that we fulfill any promises made and any given word.
We don’t want to endanger HBO’s situation nor causing to lose its reputation. We want to be your partner in a tiny part of HBO’s huge income.
HBO is an important part of Time Warner’s vast array of networks and productions businesses and your estimated annual sale in 662 million dollars in one fiscal year. As all of us know “Very well”, This number is official crap and some-how wrong. By analyzing your financial records, we see billions rather that millions, may be some tax evading proofs, so what? It doesn’t matter, we want only XXXX dollars. In your opinion, is this a greedy number for saving your 1.5 Tb Confidential data from being released?
HBO spends nearly 100 million to produce GOT6 and spends lots of money for series like Insecure, Ballers, The Deuce, Barry, Room 104 and …. . Now we have final scripts and final video files of them. HBO spends 12 million in 2017 for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!
Our demand is clear and Non-Negotiable: we want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your Data.
I know (as witnessed in our other operations) that a greedy CEO or an Idiot one who doesn’t understand the new era of cyberspace or a f***ing, Full of Pride, FBI fat-ass agent, tells you Don’t pay them, How trust them? What if they release the data even they have been paid? By paying money, you keep them in the circle!
The answer is simple: we are white-Hat. You must trust us. The HBO is our 17th Target. Only 3 of our past targets refused to pay and were punished very badly and 2 of them collapse entirely.
How are you able to stop a group like us that spends about 400-500,000 dollars in a year to buy 0days exploits? We often launch two major operations in a year and our annual income is about 12-15 million dollars. We are serious enough to do our business, the main questions is this: How much is your seriousness to keep your empire on its feet in a NEW BRAVE WORLD?
Don’t call us nasty Hackers, we are IT professionals, consider what is done to you as a huge pentest.
For building mutual trust and confidence, we send you, our entire arsenal! (Except on package for ;last possible Leak which surprises not only you but entire world!). We don’t play with you so, you in return, don’t play with us. You only have 3 days to make decision so decide wisely.
You pay our 6 month salary to bitcoin and we get away form your map. As we witnesses in other cases, Fucking FBI or other police enforcements, teach you couple of outdated trick to play with us and buy time. It doesn’t work with us.
We set a time line for you in 7 weeks of GOT 7 and you pay the money in the way we say. I repeat again, don’t play with us, its only your decades of dignity and heavy efforts that will be played with.
If you pay, both of us will be glad, and every one goes to his work. If NO, then we are still happy, we release the entire collection and set an example of Idiot and old-fashioned collapsing player in the field for our future targets. So you will be the loser and we are still in the field!
You must understand that we are in the new world. You cannot ignore players like us. HBO must adopt itself with new circumstances. Doing so, set you straight forward and Lucky. by ignoring this new era, the first victims will be your reputation and your empire.
There are several disputes between by colleagues about your possible reactions. It’s like betting. Some of them (by analyzing some of your CEO and their attitudes) tell me that you don’t pay. I and some others, being optimistic, will count on your true & wise decision. It’s up to you!
Some final quotes:
First of all declare your surrender! We only communicate with Richard. Send an email and declare it frankly that you accept our terms.
You have 3 days for analyzing the data and the damages it brought and etc. its natural. Forget about 4th date for negotiate. In 4th day, we begin to release….
Do the bitcoin job quick. Some banks in USA have problems in exchanging bitcoin and caused trouble in past. We don’t accept sentences like: we want to pay but banks are lazy and don’t cooperate. Its your problem. Give some bucks, they do like slaves.
Look at below chart every often. It is leakage schedule. We are man of our words. If you like, try us. We release what be declared as written in chart.
We know a lot about your promoting strategies for your series and other stuff. Thanks to your endless efforts in this field, our leakage will be very time consuming and step by step. We will use your communicating ways to spread the content to entire world. For example your huge list of journalists who promote you, will be the ones that spread our words. Nice try like Zoe Barnes in House of Cards! Some of them ambitious and like to go upward so spreads well!
We want a clean operation, if any word got to press or others, then we consider it as breach of contract and despite our chart (step-by-step leakage) we release the entire data at once.
Don’t go to FBI or other f***ing IT Idiots. They are so busy or shoe makers! If you have strong enough IT infrastructures, we can’t get your data. In this situation, It’s worthless for begging security from them. We are far enough to catch (Catch me If you can!). This is your empire that is shaking and collapsing. I know that you don’t listen to this advice, its natural. But remember, by confronting any danger, we ignore the chart and release the data at once.
We will write only 1 extra letter for declaring bitcoin transfers. There will be no “Tom & Jerry” game!
There are 2 mottos. Which one is remembered?
Winter is Coming — HBO is Falling
Winter is Coming — HBO is standing & Everlasting !
As Architect said in Matrix II: “the problem is choice!”
Good luck to HBO
Pretty crazy stuff. Yet despite the internal leaks at the HBO and the intrusion of company’s network by outsiders, fans continue to tune in for Game of Thrones, and for this episode, it was in record numbers.
What are your thoughts on this? Will leaks and hacks have any affect of HBO’s viewership? Let us know in the comments down below!