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HBO offers $250000 as 'bounty payment' to hackers

HBO offers $250000 as 'bounty payment' to hackers

Now a leaked email suggests that HBO offered the perpetrators a sum of $250,000 to delay the leaks.

In HBO's new message, leaked by the hacker and dated July 27, a network executive offers a $US250,000 payment to the hackers as part of program in which "white hat IT professionals" are rewarded for "bringing these types of things to our attention", according to Variety.

A person close to the investigation confirmed the authenticity of the email, but said it was an attempt to buy time and assess the situation. "They're being extorted. If it was a bug bounty, it'd be on the up and up".

"You have the advantage of having surprised us", the message reportedly reads.

The note said that HBO was willing to make the payment "as a show of good faith", but needed time to fund an account for sending payments in bitcoin digital currency or obtain account information from the hackers so it could use a conventional bank wire to transmit the funds.

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The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data stolen from HBO. A few days after HBO sent the note, the hackers went to the media with details of the breach. "That's a very, very small amount in these kinds of negotiations".

The hack suffered by HBO has been in the headlines for the last couple of weeks, not least because it led to the leak of episodes and scripts. An automated response was returned with an image of the HBO "bounty" offer, Reuters said.

When Netflix refused to pay, the hacker posted a torrent for the episodes to The Pirate Bay.

The leaks so far have fallen well short of the chaos inflicted on Sony in 2014. "The next company, whether it's Showtime or Death Row Records or whomever, needs to see that they're going to wake up one day to this reality unless they confront it".

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