A group of hackers who uploaded the script of a previously unseen Game of Thrones episode are now demanding a ransom payment from HBO.
The hackers claim to have stolen over 1.5TB worth of data from the entertainment company including actual episodes of the TV shows Ballers and Room 104.
Most notably though the hackers claim to have scripts from the new series of Game of Thrones revealing major plot developments before the episodes have actually aired on TV.
Having originally sent an email outlining their plans to reporters the hackers have now released a ransom note demanding an undisclosed sum from HBO.
If the company fails to pay the hackers will release all 1.5TB of information onto the internet.
As if to show their resolve the hackers then uploaded some 3.4GB worth of data including passwords, potentially personal contact information for some of the actors from Game of Thrones and another script, this time for the fifth episode.
The data dump also includes a set of documents marked “Highly Confidential” as well as a folder claiming to contain over 37,000 emails belonging to HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler.
In a rambling letter directed at Plepler the hacker, referred to only as “Mr Smith”, said: “HBO spends 12 million for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!”
HBO apparently has just three days to pay the ransom or the hackers have threatened to upload the full 1.5TB of data.
It’s unclear how HBO will react to this however it’s worth noting that historically, holding entertainment companies to ransom over data leaks hasn’t really worked.
Earlier this year a hacker uploaded an entire season of Orange is the New Black after Netflix refused to pay the ransom, setting a bold precedent for how the entertainment industry could react to hackers in the future.