HBO suffered a cyber-attack Wednesday that caused strange “security alert” messages to clutter up every one of its social media pages. The messages purported to be from Ourmine, a “white hat” hacker group known for infiltrating systems in order to point out where they are susceptible to sabotage—not to sabotage the systems themselves.
While the attack did not cause any lasting harm, it follows another recent and more malicious hack that stole 1.5 terabytes of company data, including network executives’ emails, TV scripts, and unreleased episodes of Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and other shows. In addition, the hackers stole all of the personal information of every cast member of HBO’s mega-hit Game of Thrones.
Nikolai Coster-Waldau, who plays the prince Jaime Lannister on the show, told the Daily Beast that one HBO’s executives called him several weeks ago to tell him that his info had been compromised. “They go, ‘You know, we just want to inform you that we had a hack. It’s kind of a big problem with HBO. We don’t know quite how bad it is, but it looks like all of your guys’ info has been leaked.’ And I went, What? And they said, ‘Oh, your emails, your phone numbers, all of the info is out there,’” he said.
The hackers have been leaking some of their stolen content and are threatening to release more. They demand that HBO pay them $7 million if it wants them to stop.
This isn’t the first time hackers have successfully targeted Game of Thrones. In 2015, the fifth season’s first four episodes made it online without any actor or studio executives’ authorization.