- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2017

An unaired episode of HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” leaked online Friday morning as the network reels back from a recently disclosed data breach.

Unlike a trove of stolen HBO files dumped days earlier, however, the latest “Game of Thrones” episode leaked was obtained as the result of a separate security breach suffered by Star India, a Mumbai-based distribution company, a representative for the first said in a statement Friday, signaling the second significant television leak in less than a week.

“We take this breach very seriously and have immediately initiated forensic investigations at our and the technology partner’s end to swiftly determine the cause,” a Star India representative said in a statement, The Verge first reported.

“This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action,” it’s statement said.

The leak appeared in the form of a low-quality video file containing the fourth episode of the series’ seventh season and bearing a Star India watermark. It was uploaded Friday morning to Google Drive, the tech titan’s free file-sharing service, and spread virally upon being shared on Reddit and other websites.

The episode was made available on the heels of a separate “cyber incident” acknowledged by HBO this week that resulted in the network losing control of “masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound,” according to a filing made on it’s behalf Wednesday.

“At this time, we do not believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised, but the forensic review is ongoing,” Richard Plepler, HBO’s chairman and CEO, said in a company-wide email Wednesday. “We are also in the process of engaging an outside firm to work with our employees to provide credit monitoring and we will be following up with those details.”

The leaked “Game of Thrones” episode, entitled “The Spoils of War,” is slated to air Friday evening on HBO. The series is among the network’s most successful programs to date, and the season’s premier episode last month set a network record by attracting about 30 million viewers.

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