By AARON BROWN
Game Of Thrones season 7 episode 7 – the finale in this latest run – will be shared online “as soon as possible”, the cybercriminals behind the HBO hack have threatened.
Episode 7 will be titled The Dragon and the Wolf, HBO confirmed earlier this week.
This latest season of the hit US show has been plagued with leaks – with two episodes shared online before they aired on HBO and Sky Atlantic.
And now scripts and other material linked to the season finale could be published ahead of the official air date, hackers have claimed.
Earlier this summer, the cybercriminals successfully stole 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO, the US network behind the likes of Game Of Thrones, Ballers, Last Week Tonight, and more.
The group has communicated with HBO and the media under the pseudonym Mr. Smith Group.
Game Of Thrones season 7 episodes four and five, The Spoils of War and Beyond the Wall respectively, appeared online ahead of their air date on HBO.
Mr. Smith Group has now threatened to leak the final episodes in this seven-episode run.
“Be ready for GOT S& E6 &E7 as soon as possible,” Mr. Smith Group cautioned HBO in an email that was subsequently forwarded to Mashable. (sic)
It’s unclear whether the threat is genuine.
Mr. Smith Group have siphoned a slew of internal data from HBO – including scripts for unaired Game Of Thrones episodes, information about the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and phone numbers of actors involved in HBO shows.
However, the hackers do not appear to have obtained any footage from the new season. Both leaked Game Of Thrones episodes originated from HBO itself.
It is very possible Mr. Smith Group has a script outline for the season finale – similar to the ones published online for episodes four and five.
The online group shared a number of screenshots defaced with the tagline “HB-OLD is Dying….”. These were later taken offline.
HBO declined to comment on this new threat.
The premium US television network has referred people to its previous statement.
“We are not in communication with the hacker and we’re not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released. It has been widely reported that there was a cyber incident at HBO,” an HBO spokesperson has previously said.
“The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That’s a game we’re not going to participate in.
“Obviously, no company wants their proprietary information stolen and released on the internet.
“Transparency with our employees, partners, and the creative talent that works with us has been our focus throughout this incident and will remain our focus as we move forward.
“This incident has not deterred us from ensuring HBO continues to do what we do best.”
Mr. Smith Group hackers have previously pressed HBO for some $6.5 million worth of Bitcoin as ransom.
Earlier this month, four people were arrested for leaking an episode of Game Of Thrones before it was aired.
The four people from India were taken into custody earlier this week with police saying they are accused of criminal breach of trust and computer-related offences.
Speaking to the AFP news agency Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan said:
“We investigated the case and have arrested four individuals for unauthorised publication of the fourth episode from season seven,”
The case was filed by a Mumbai-based company who are responsible for processing and storing the TV episodes for an app, local media said.
Those arrested were all company employees who possessed the necessary credentials to access episodes before the air date.
The Game Of Thrones season 7 finale will be shown in the US on Sunday August 27th – and simulcast in the UK at 2am on Sky Atlantic on Monday.
The episode will then be available on-demand and repeated at 9pm on Sky Atlantic on Monday night.
It is also available via NOW TV in the UK.
Culled from www.express.co.uk