The sanctity of Game of Thrones’ seven kingdoms is under attack by a new force that goes far beyond the White Walkers and Cersei Lannister.
HBO has suffered a major cyber attack, upcoming episodes from multiple shows along with the script for Game of Thrones season seven’s fourth episode.
Hackers claim to have acquired 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO in a recent cyber attack against the network and have already released unaired episodes of Ballers and Room 104online.
The most devastating revelation centers on HBO’s marquee series.!
An alleged script for the upcoming fourth episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season has allegedly leaked, via a cryptic and oddly worded email that the hackers anonymously sent to several different reporters.
On Sunday, an anonymous email was sent to many reporters announcing the hack:
HBO has confirmed that a cyber attack took place, in internal statements obtained by the news outlet. “The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of,” HBO Chair and CEO Richard Plepler wrote in an email to employees.
The network has not commented on what specific content the hackers may have acquired.
But this incident fits a pattern that seems to be part of a growing trend in Hollywood. “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cyber security firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
Back in April, Netflix was hacked, and episodes of Orange Is the New Black season five were released online prior to its debut.
A hacking group called the Dark Overlord claimed responsibility for that hack and said that they had also acquired not only more Netflix programming but also content from ABC and Fox.
As the Verge has noted, Game of Thrones leaks are something that HBO has battled previously, though not necessarily because of hacking.
In 2015, the first four episodes of season five were leaked online prior to the season premiere. In 2016, HBO Nordic accidentally released an episode of season six one day early.
For years, HBO has fought a cyber-battle to keep Game of Thrones storylines secret and the show’s content from being illegally distributed.
In season 5, the first four episodes leaked online before the show’s season premiere after review DVDs that were sent to the press and industry insiders.
HBO has since halted the practice of sending any episodes in advance.
That same year, some clips leaked ahead of time from overseas HBO distributors, and even images of Jon Snow’s death found their way online before the finale aired.
There are four remaining episodes in Game of Thrones’ seventh season, which airs its finale on August 27.
Whether the details of those episodes will stay under wraps until they air remains an open question.