Variety reports a failed attempt of HBO to Offer a ‘Bug Bounty’ to hackers

August 12, 2017

According to a report from a leaked memo by Variety, in response to the incident, HBO offered a reward of $250,000, a figure far from the HBO annual budget.

Cyber criminals claiming to have hacked television group HBO networks were demanding millions of dollars in ransom payments from the company while threatening to release more material.

The alleged hackers published a five-minute video letter to HBO chief Richard Plepler claiming to have “obtained valuable information” in a cyber attack. Cyber criminals said they had stolen 1.5 terabytes of data.

The author of the message dubbed himself  “Mr. Smith,” confirmed his group obtained “highly confidential” documents and data, including scripts, contracts, and personnel files.

The crooks pretend to receive half of the group’s annual budget of $12 million to $15 million to stop leasing the files.

The hackers claim a long work to compromise the company network, it took six months to break into the company systems, they also added to have purchased $500,000 a year zero-day exploits that let them hack the firm exploiting flaws in Microsoft and other software used by HBO.

According to a report from a leaked memo by Variety, in response to the incident, HBO offered a reward of $250,000. The payment was offered as a “bug bounty,” to discover vulnerabilities in their its computer networks.

Unfortunately, “Mr. Smith” and his crew weren’t satisfied by the offer that doesn’t match their millionaire demands to stop leaking sensitive data, the crooks’ request would be more than $6 million.

HBO

HBO did not comment the report by Variety.

Last week, along with the video letter, the hackers released 3.4GB of files. The dump contained technical data related to the HBO’s internal network and administrator passwords, and of course the draft scripts from five Game of Thrones episodes. The huge trove of files also includes a month’s worth of emails from HBO’s vice president for film programming, Leslie Cohen.

HBO is working with forensic experts and law enforcement to identify the hackers and fix the flaws they have exploited to steal the precious content.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – cyber crime, data breach)

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Source: Security affairs

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