The hackers behind a massive cyberattack on HBO have leaked a message from the network in which they say an exec offered a “bounty payment” $250,000, Variety first reported.
Mashable reviewed a screenshot of the email, and a person close to the network confirmed its veracity. The email is dated late last month and it claims that the money offered would be part of a program in which white hat IT professionals are rewarded for bringing these types of things to our attention.
If that seems oddly appeasing, the source claims it’s because the Time Warner-owned company was trying to stall the cybercriminals while it assessed the severity of the situation.
The hackers stole 1.5 terabytes worth of show scripts, videos, internal documents, emails, and more from the channel last week in order to hold it for a ransom payment.
“Our demand is clear and Non-Negotiable: We want XXXX dollars to stop leaking your Data,” the video message says. “”HBO spends 12 million for Market Research and 5 million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!”
HBO also appealed to the data thieves to extend the deadline it had posed for the ransom payment.
In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week.
The hackers have already begun to trickle some of the data into public, including unaired episodes of Ballers and Room 104 and a script summary of Game of Thrones.
Updated Thursday, August 10 9:30 p.m. ET to include independent confirmation.
HBO did not respond to a request for comment.