Television network HBO was hit by another cyber attack over the weekend, leading to leaks of television shows such as Ballers and Room 104 and a script from the hit show Game of Thrones, according to a report.
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the network said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Meanwhile, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler confirmed the attack in an email sent out to company employees:
As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming. Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us.
I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean. It is a textbook example of quintessential HBO teamwork.
The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of. As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully.
The hacker notified the media of the leak in a bizarre email on Sunday evening, in which they declared the network was “falling”:
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.
It is the second time that HBO has been the victim of a cyber attack after four episodes of the fifth season of Game of Thrones were leaked in 2015. According to TorrentFreak, the episodes were downloaded over 100,000 times in three hours.
Cyber attacks have plagued the industry in recent years, with Netflix and ABC also victims of attacks from a hacker known as The Dark Overlord (TDO). In June, all thirteen episodes of Netflix series Orange is the New Black were leaked before their premiere after the streaming giant refused to meet the group’s ransom demands.
Meanwhile in April, one of Hollywood’s premiere talent agencies, United Talent Agency (UTE), suffered a systems hack that caused widespread disruption across the industry.
Responding to the incident, the agency described cyber attacks as an “unfortunate yet common reality of our digital world that can take place regardless of the strong safeguards a company has in place.”