- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hackers responsible for stealing 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO have leaked an email from the network that shows that HBO made a “bug bounty” offer of $250,000, which the hackers rejected.

The Hollywood Reporter obtained additional behind-the-scenes information on the late July cyberattack on HBO, which resulted in leaked material related to such shows as “Game of Thrones” and “Ballers.”

One of the hackers, who goes by the alias “Mr. Smith,” sent the website what appears to be a carefully worded — but expensive — attempt to placate the thieves on July 27.

“[We’ve] been working hard since [July 23] to review all of the material that you have made available to us … In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week,” the HBO email says, THR reported. “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.”

The website said that it was unable to confirm if the documents were altered, although previous scoops by “Mr. Smith” were verified and the HBO employee in question does work with information technology.

HBO CEO Richard Plepler sent a company-wide email after the attack letting employees know that law enforcement agencies are investigating the cyberattack.

“It’s just about money,” a hacker told THR on Aug. 3. “We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us.”

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