HBO Security Contractor: Hackers Stole ‘Thousands of Internal Documents’ (EXCLUSIVE)

HBO Hackers Stole 'Thousands of Internal
Courtesy of HBO

The HBO hack may have been worse than the initial leaks of a few unaired TV show episodes suggested. A security company hired by HBO to scrub search results for the hacked files from search engines has told Google that the hackers stole “thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents.”

The disclosure came as part of a DMCA take-down notice sent to Google Tuesday to force the search engine to take down links to the leaked files. The take-down notice also detailed that the hackers did away with “masses of copyrighted items including documents, images, videos and sound.”

The company in question, IP Echelon, is frequently being used by HBO to remove links to infringing material from Google. An HBO spokesperson declined to comment on the take-down notice and the nature of any files stolen by the hackers when contacted by Variety Wednesday “due to an ongoing investigation.”

Word of HBO getting hacked first broke Monday morning, when the hackers approached media outlets with the news that they had broken into HBO’s networks and released episodes of “Ballers,” “Insecure,” and “Room 104” as well as the script for an upcoming episode of “Game of Thrones.”

Also released by the hackers: Two episodes of “Barry,” the hit man comedy starring Bill Hader that is not scheduled to air until 2018 on the network.

The hackers appear to have also leaked personal information of a senior HBO executive. That information, published online in a text document, contains access information to dozens of online accounts, including paid newspaper subscriptions, online banking, and personal health services. At least one of these accounts may also have given the hackers access to the executive’s work email.

The perpetrators of the hack have claimed that they were able to access some of HBO’s key network infrastructure, and steal a total of 1.5 terabyte of data, and have suggested that they will release additional information in the near future. An image file published as part of the leaks seems to corroborate at least the first part of that claim, as it appears to show screenshots of HBO’s internal administration tools, listing employee names and email addresses and their functions within the organization.

Thousands of potentially sensitive internal documents, employee data, and a possible access to internal corporate email: All of this brings back memories of the Sony hack. Back in 2014, a group of hackers that is thought to have been backed by North Korea broke into the networks of Sony Pictures. The group subsequently released tens of thousands of emails, as well as scripts and video files, contributing to the ouster of Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal.

HBO acknowledged the hack on Monday, and said that it was working with law enforcement and private firms to remedy the situation. “Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold,” the company said in a statement.

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  1. Illmatic says:

    Watching through a browser I have to 1st login to HBOGO, then I’m taken to Comcast’s login page (even though my username/pass are saved in my browser for both) every single time I use it. Maybe if they applied the same level of anal security that they make users go through this wouldn’t have happened?

  2. AwanBrotherTre says:

    How many memos are about Lena Dunham? I want to see ALL internal comms about Dunham! Dump the Dunham memos pls.

  3. Dude says:

    They can issue takedown notices but I bet you can find the episodes on bittorrent or whatever peer to peer network is now used. Megauploads may have them too.

  4. doni609 says:

    Well, based on what I’ve watched, or attempted to watch, on HBO lately, I don’t believe the hackers got much.

  5. Garys opinion says:

    If the rest of Game Of Thrones are as boring as the first episode this season,it will be no loss

  6. B.sdavis says:

    Maybe we can find the liberal bias memos

  7. RS says:

    What’s to steal? Half of what is on anymore are stories about the sexually confused trying to deal with a world that SEES they are screwed up.

  8. David Russell Foley says:

    LOL! Likely done by HBO itself to get its flagging brand in the news. HBO and ESPN are both swirling in the ratings toilet bowl. The only motivation to bootleg HBO content is if you can’t access the content on the public access channel in Minot, ND.

  9. Outfront says:

    HBO is rubbish. The ignorant hackers/thieves will have great difficulty finding anyone who wants these documents.

  10. Sardondi says:

    And yet I find myself curiously unmoved by HBO’s discomfiture.

  11. Mark says:

    What’s the point of these hacks? Why don’t these hackers spend their time dismantling the nuclear capability of N.Korea or Iran. Do something really good. Be a patriot instead.

  12. Bas says:

    The acquisition price for Time Warner is $85 Billion and I don’t see AT&T asking for a tiny discount just because of this event. I hope HBO or any company learn from this to prevent it un future.

  13. Spike says:

    oooh! Karma hurts, doesn’t it?

  14. Jon Black says:

    IP echelon seem pretty sketchy. They should have never added that information to a DMCA request especially to Google where that is going to be made public. Our company stopped using IPE a year ago and have not looked back.

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