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HBO called it ‘disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us.’
First reported by Entertainment Weekly, HBO confirmed the security breach and said the network was cooperating with law enforcement.
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” HBO said in a statement. “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
HBO wouldn’t confirm exactly what the hackers had taken, but hackers announced the breach in an email to reporters Sunday, claiming to have 1.5 terabytes of data. They released episodes of Ballers and Room 104 online, along with a script they claim to be from Game of Thrones season 7 episode 4, “The Spoils of War,” which will air Sunday, Aug. 6.
In an email announcing the breach to employees, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler assured them that HBO was doing all it could to protect “our collective interests” across departments with the help of outside experts.
“The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of,” Plepler wrote. “As has been the case with any challenge we have ever faced, I have absolutely no doubt that we will navigate our way through this successfully.”
While the HBO breach bears similarities to hacks of Orange Is the New Black and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales earlier this year, it has drawn comparisons to the leak of four Game of Thrones season 5 episodes in 2015. As a result of that incident, HBO changed its policy on preview screeners for the press, and it hasn’t offered a single Game of Thrones screener to reporters since.
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.