Leaked email shows HBO negotiating with hackers

epa06134132 A view of the sign on HBO's offices in New York, New York, USA, 09 August 2017. HBO was recently targeted by hackers who have released script's from the network's show 'Game of Thrones' and have demanded a ransom of the equivalent of $6 million US dollars in bitcoin. EPA/JUSTIN LANE
A view of the sign on HBO's offices in New York, NY, on August 9 2017. HBO was recently targeted by hackers.

BOSTON — Hackers released an email from HBO in which the company expressed willingness to pay them $250,000 as part of a negotiation over electronic data swiped from HBO’s servers.

The July 27 email was sent by an HBO executive who thanked the hackers for ‘‘making us aware’’ of previously unknown security vulnerabilities. The executive asked for a 1-week delay and said HBO was willing to make a ‘‘good faith’’ payment of $250,000, calling it a ‘‘bug bounty’’ reward for IT professionals rather than a ransom.

HBO declined to comment. A person close to the investigation confirmed the authenticity of the email, but said it was an attempt to buy time and assess the situation.


The same hackers have subsequently released two dumps of HBO material and demanded a multi-million dollar ransom.