‘Mr. Smith’ HBO hacker demands millions in Bitcoin ransom

HBO Game of Thrones

The saga surrounding the recent HBO security breach and subsequent data dump has taken a new turn.

A group of hackers — or possibly a solo hacker — that go by the name ‘Mr. Smith,’ likely in a reference to the character from the Matrix trilogy, have posted a cache of sensitive HBO files to file-sharing websites and are demanding a ransom amounting to several million dollars to prevent the further release of data.

This new data dump appears to include the scripts for five Game of Thrones episodes, as well as a month’s worth of saved emails from Leslie Cohen, HBO’s vice president of film programming.

Other internal documents that are part of the leak are legal claims against the network, and the job offer letters of top executives, amounting to a total of 1.5 terabytes of data — so far the hackers have only released 3.4GB of stolen files.

HBO released a statement on Monday indicating that the company does not believe its entire internal email system has been compromised. Along with the above data, hackers have also released the personal phone numbers of Game of Thrones actors.

A video released by Mr. Smith, featuring white text on a black background, threatens to release more data if HBO does not pay a sum of money that’s believed to be between $6 and $7.5-million.

It’s believed that this request for ransom is related to the HBO data dump hack from last week. Game of Thrones is the most popular show in HBO’s history and has long been a target of digital piracy.

Via: The Verge, The Guardian

Image credit: Mashable