‘Game of Thrones’ Unaired Episode Leaks Online, Not Connected to HBO Hack

'Game of Thrones' Episode 4 Leaks

This Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones” has been stolen and posted on the internet — but the leak isn’t related to the massive hack of HBO’s systems disclosed earlier this week.

Links to the fourth episode of “Game of Thrones” season 7, set to premiere Aug. 6 on HBO, appeared on a discussion board on Reddit, as first reported by the Verge. The pirated copy of the episode, titled “The Spoils of War,” was available via Google Drive, according to the report.

Shortly after the link to the “Game of Thrones” episode was posted on Reddit at 8:12 AM ET Friday, the post was updated with this message. “The file has been taken down for violating GoogleDrive’s [terms of service]. You can no longer view it.” However, according to reports, the episode has since begun circulating on torrent-based file-sharing piracy sites including the Pirate Bay.


HBO Hackers Threaten to Leak Additional Data This Coming Sunday

It’s not the first time “Game of Thrones” — believed to be the most-pirated TV show of all time — has been hit with pre-release piracy. In 2015 the first four episodes of season five landed on piracy networks, after being copied from review screeners, nearly a full day before the season premiere. During last year’s season six run, an episode leaked ahead of its premiere date after it was accidently made available on HBO Nordic.

But the leak came from pay-TV distribution partner Star India, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, whose logo appears as a watermark in the pirated copy with the text “for internal viewing only,” the Verge reported.

“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 rep for Star India said in a statement. “This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action.” Mumbai-based Star India operates more than 40 channels in eight different languages.

HBO did not respond to a request for comment.

The Verge said it was able to verify the authenticity of the leaked “Game of Thrones” episode and said it was in a low-quality format; Variety has not independently confirmed that.

The leak comes after HBO confirmed Monday that hackers breached the premium cabler’s networks, reportedly stealing 1.5 terabytes of documents and files. The cybercriminals released the script for the Aug. 6 “Game of Thrones” episode, along with episodes of “Ballers,” “Insecure,” “Room 104” and with two episodes of “Barry,” the comedy starring Bill Hader set to debut in 2018 on the network.

A security company hired by HBO to scrub search results for the hacked files from search engines told Google in a takedown notice Tuesday that the hackers stole “thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents.”

In a memo to staffers Wednesday, HBO chief Richard Plepler said the hackers did not compromise the programmer’s e-mail system “as a whole” but added that “the forensic review is ongoing.”

Pictured above: Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei (left) and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in “Game of Thrones” season seven, episode four, titled “The Spoils of War.”

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  1. Art Mooney says:

    The episode that leaked was a short cut with temp audio and limited FX work. Judging by the india watermark I’d say a post house lost control of this one. SO, everyone is going to have to watch Sunday anyway as this constitutes little more than an ‘extended’ extended rough-cut trailer for episode 4. As for piracy, if they really wanted it to stop, they’d stop it. Not hard really. This is largely a byproduct of outsourcing and poor security. If you’re gonna spread your workforce across the globe and then communicate by shouting, you shouldn’t be surprised if somebody hears your conversation.

    • Steve says:

      You’re wrong about the temp audio and limited FX, as you’d know if you had seen it. It’s a full episode, just in lower resolution and with watermarks.

    • TV says:

      Art, reporting form the experts is that it is not cut short and it is not at all limited FX. It is full length, but sped to 110%. if played back at 90% all the reports are it is full length t is the real thing. it has ll the FX on it according to the experts on reddit. Only thing is its 320P meaning it would look fine on a smartphone and not bad on a tablet but pixelated on a television

  2. Solution for the Content Providers [a.k.a the Rightsholders]

    All Content to be released to Broadcast Companies should be encrypted when sent.

    Decryption keys are only to be transmitted to the Broadcast company in sufficient time for their computers to decrypt the episode (and confirm their successful decryption) before the authorized air-time.

    Anyone who stumbles across the actual recording before-hand gets an hour or two of visual/audio gibberish to show for their “Ch3ck 0ut my Skillz! Ain’t I GR8?” demonstration. The people who actually OWN or RENT the rights to display the work in question get to broadcast as they are supposed to without weakening or eliminating the financial rewards of their Investment.

    We already know that “Big Content” is willing to go to that kind of length to protect their business. They just need to start applying that will to the partners on THEIR side of the fence.

  3. Such a shame that our world now has internet pirates! It would seem no one is safe.

    • Kaboom! says:

      Now? Internet piracy has been going on since the internet was created. They pirate music, movies, tv shows, and video games. You are not safe.

  4. Thomas Alexander says:

    If you want to help our industry and try to prevent piracy, maybe stop reporting on what gets pirated.

    • Too much “Locking the barn door after the horses have run away”.

      Those who want to find Pirated Content already know where to look. IF you want to stop it, you go after the Thieves… NOT the Fences/Pawn-shops.

      And if Law Enforcement REALLY wants to get serious about clamping down on this sort of thing, I advise them to acquire a LEGAL copy of the old (1978) movie “Hot Stuff”…

    • Yes Sir says:

      Good point

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