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HBO Hacker Leaks Message From HBO Offering $250000 'Bounty Payment'
13 August 2017, 12:01 | Max Haynes
HBO offered 'bounty' to hackers: Report
The hackers have reportedly demanded $6 million to hold off on the release of the data.
A person familiar with HBO's response to the attack told Reuters that the company sent the email "as a stall tactic" and had never meant to make the $250,000 payment or pay the full $6 million the hackers had demanded to hold off going public with data stolen from HBO.
In a message leaked by the hackers, the executive says "HBO has been working hard since Sunday evening (July 23) to review all of the material that you have made available to us".
You have the advantage of having surprised us. When a reporter in a media conference tried to talk about the ransom video, HBO declined to comment on it.
Variety, citing sources "close" to HBO, said the network was merely trying to buy time to figure out its next move, and it never had an intention of paying what the email termed as a "bounty".
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The hack follows attacks on Netflix, where a hacker demanded a ransom in exchange for not leaking episodes of Orange is the New Black. "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week".
Whether or not HBO ever meant to follow through with its $250,000 offer, the email raised questions Friday among security professionals about the importance of the data and whether HBO's reaction might encourage future attacks. "That's a very, very small amount in these kinds of negotiations".
The offer apparently failed to satisfy the attackers who have demanded a ransom of millions of dollars and are threatening to release more files from what is claimed to be a massive data breach.
Variety earlier reported details about the $250,000 offer. Companies would be better off investing in preventing email spear-fishing attempts and other hacking techniques, he said. "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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