A hacker escalated its weeks-long attack on HBO’s computer network on Sunday, leaking several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm that weren’t due out until October. It has not, however, spilled any new episodes of Game of Thrones, just to get that out of the way up top.
The hack is evidently an attempt to extort HBO for several million dollars, but the company isn’t playing ball. Along with Curb Your Enthusiasm, leaked material that has trickled out recently includes episodes of Insecure, Ballers and The Deuce, according to Variety. A Game of Thrones script was also previously released, as well as internal documents like job offer letters and emails from a programming executive. Still, the breach has not yet reached the level of the infamous and highly destructive Sony hack of 2014.
HBO, while not pleased, has issued a firm statement declaring that despite the intrusions, it isn’t going to be forking over any money:
“We are not in communication with the hacker and we’re not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released. It has been widely reported that there was a cyber incident at HBO. The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That’s a game we’re not going to participate in. Obviously, no company wants their proprietary information stolen and released on the internet. Transparency with our employees, partners, and the creative talent that works with us has been our focus throughout this incident and will remain our focus as we move forward. This incident has not deterred us from ensuring HBO continues to do what we do best.”
Still, I wonder how long the network will stick to its guns if those GoT episodes start dropping ahead of schedule. Variety reported that HBO already offered a $250,000 “bounty payment” to buy itself time while a larger ransom was discussed, though allegedly that was an empty offer. We’ll see what happens.