To avoid further leakages, HBO offered whopping $250000 to hackers

Image Flickr

Image Flickr

According to WIRED, the second data dump included a ransom note that claimed Mr. Smith was in possession of 1.5-terabyte worth of internal documents, employment and marketing papers, scripts, and episodes that bears the message: "HBO is falling".

The hackers demanded "six month salary", which, according to the video, would be more than $6 million.

"As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin", it added, referencing the type of reward typically provided to legitimate researchers.

HBO declined to comment on the leaked message to Variety, but the publication confirmed the veracity of the email with someone close to the investigation.

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.

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. "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week".

Hackers who broke into HBO's cyber security system are not backing down. The materials hacked also contained innumerable financial data of the company, employement agreements and marketing-startegy PDFs.

The email, dated July 27, containing the "bug bounty" offer was leaked by the hacker who goes by the name "Little Finger" in a message promising a "second wave".

The image of the leaked email suggests that negotiations have been ongoing for some time, with the network attempting to delay the release of its content.

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