- 11 Aug 17
The network claims in the email that the money was offered as a "bug bounty payment"
The hackers who claimed to have been behind the massive breach at HBO have released a screenshot from an email they allege is from the the network offering them 250,000 dollars.
The email in question is dated July 27 and appears to be released as an effort to embarrass HBO. At the very least, if it were legitimate , it would prove that HBO and the hackers have been involved in negotiations in an attempt to prevent the breach getting any worse.
The language used by the network is decidedly obtuse however. They executive states the money offered not as an attempt to prevent the hackers from leaking any material they may have obtained but rather they say it's offered as a show of good faith.
The email states that HBO "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." By big bounty payment, the network is implying that the cash is a thank you for outlining potential security issues .
While it can be verified at this time, The Hollywood Reporter noticed it is from the same account going by "Mr. Smith" that has sent previous messages and proof of stolen content.
We also have not been able to put into place the necessary infrastructure to be able to make a large payment in bitcoin, although we are taking steps to do so as you suggested," the HBO exec says in the email.
It's also unclear whether or not HBO were ever going to pay or if they were just stalling while they tried to work out the extent of the hack. Last week HBO had revealed that thousands of internal documents had been stolen, including not yet aired episodes of Game Of Thrones.