In the latest update to HBO's hacking woes, assailants have threatened to leak the Game of Thrones season finale. The hackers revealed their plans to Mashable in an email.
The anonymous hacking troupe, which goes by "Mr. Smith group," emailed Mashable over the weekend. Instead of asking how they're doing and praising their coverage of the hack, they dropped several HBO social media logins. How's that for hello?
The sensitive information was provided in a text document and could allow anyone to access "everything from @HBO, @GameOfThrones, and @WestworldHBO to various Instagram and Giphy accounts." Obviously Mashable didn't just log right into the accounts to see what's going on, but they assume the info is correct.
Instead of causing mayhem all over the HBO's Twitter and Facebook accounts, the hackers just edited HBO Giphy accounts and sent the screenshots to the media website. When the sleuths over there tried the webpages, they were down. It's unclear whether the hackers or Giphy did that.
But the Mr. Smith group didn't stop there.
"Be ready for GOT S& E6 &E7 as soon as possible," they wrote in the same email.
Considering episode 6 aired with little-to-no disruption, episode 7, the finale of the season, might just bear the brunt.
The hackers have asked HBO for a ransom in the form of $6.5 million worth of bitcoin and while HBO didn't seem to hate that plan, they might need to start seriously considering it. A leak of the season finale could do some damage in terms of ratings. As tempting as it might be, we strongly discourage anyone from seeking out leaked material.
Over the past couple of weeks, several different hacking groups have taken advantage of the HBO breach. For example, the hackers that leaked episodes of Game of Thrones on Reddit aren't the same as these hackers. With attacks coming from so many different directions, HBO might consider putting an end to the leaks once and for all. Hopefully, before next Sunday's Game of Thrones finale.
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