HBO Confirms It’s Been Hacked as Leaks Begin – Vanity Fair
This is why we can’t have nice things. It seems that HBO has joined the ranks of Hollywood titans that have been hacked—following Sony in 2014 and, more recently, Netflix earlier this year. On Sunday night, several reporters—including multiple Vanity Fair staff members—received an e-mail in which an anonymous sender claimed to have obtained 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO. On Monday, the premium cabler confirmed the hack, although it is not saying yet what information, or how much, has been taken.
HBO provided the following 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 cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, upcoming episodes from multiple series—including Ballers and Room 104—as well as “at least one alleged script or treatment,” have been put online already, with more supposedly still to come.
The hacker’s e-mail read as follows:
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.
The e-mail also included a phone number that, it turns out, leads to HBO Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Jeff Cusson’s office. Cusson’s name was also used on a now-suspended Twitter account used to spread the information.
So far, no Game of Thrones material has been leaked. HBO has been notoriously protective of its marquee drama, even ceasing the use of screeners after four episodes leaked ahead of the Season 5 premiere. This April, a hacker demanded a ransom from Netflix after claiming to have stolen 10 episodes of its popular drama Orange Is the New Black; a day later, the episodes were allegedly leaked. Whoever hacked HBO appears to have made no such demands; it seems whoever did this is more interested in HBO “falling.”