HBO has been made the target of a new hack, and with it, comes the leak of a new script from Game of Thrones season 7. Due to its popularity as a global phenomenon, no series is quite as familiar with online hacking and piracy issues as Thrones. Ever since 2014, Game of Thrones has been one of the most pirated TV series and the show's piracy issues have only grown with each new season. With Game of Thrones' season 7 premiere having raked in over 10 million viewers but also been pirated 91.74 million times around the world, it's clear that Thrones online piracy issues are worst than ever now.
HBO began responding to Game of Thrones piraters by sending out warning letters, with information attached of how they could watch the show legally. While the company's focus has been on trying to limit its piracy numbers as much as possible, it looks as though HBO has just suffered yet another unfortunate setback, due to the efforts of a group of online hackers.
EW is reporting that hackers have broken into HBO's networks, obtained a total of 1.5 terabytes of data, and have leaked a number of unreleased episodes of HBO shows like Ballers and Room 104, in addition to leaking the script for this Sunday's upcoming episode of Game of Thrones. HBO confirmed the attack in a new statement sent to Variety:
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information. We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
While this is a particularly unfortunate incident for HBO, it's just the latest in a long string of studios and companies being targeted by online hackers over the past few years. It's well-known that Sony suffered majorly at the hands of North Korean hackers back in 2014, while several episodes from Netflix's latest season of Orange is the New Black were leaked online by hackers ahead of its release. Most recently even, online hackers threatened Disney with releasing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales online, which Disney efficiently downplayed and avoided.
The leak of this Game of Thrones script, and the potential threat of other preemptive leaks of upcoming episodes, only continues HBO's struggle to keep the hit series from being unfortunately spoiled ahead of time. Not only were the first four episodes of Thrones season 5 leaked online before its premiere back in 2015, but the show's current seventh season has been under constant threat of spoilers since production began last year; with behind-the-scenes set and drone photos threatening to ruin some of the season's biggest twists and meetings. Now, all that's left to be seen, is how well HBO does at continuing to combat these kinds of threats, as Thrones continues to push forward through its largest season to date.
Game of Thrones continues with ‘The Spoils of War’ next Sunday @9pm on HBO.