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As hackers continue with threats against HBO, the cable network has a fresh headache to deal with: a low-quality version of Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones has surfaced online.
A copy of "The Spoils of War" — the fourth episode from the current seventh season of the cable network's massive TV hit — appeared online overnight, according to U.S. media outlets.
The file is watermarked with the message "for internal viewing only," reported The Verge, which called the episode genuine. The episode may have come from an HBO affiliate, as the logo for Star India appears on the pirated copy.
The video file, shared via Google Drive by a user on Reddit, has since been removed by Google for violating its terms of service.
HBO is no stranger to battling leaked episodes of its most popular show. It ended its earlier practice of sending out advanced media screening copies when episodes from the fifth season turned up online.
However, in the past week, the company has been grappling with a major cybersecurity crisis after a sophisticated data breach of a different magnitude after hackers claim to have stolen 1.5 terabytes (or 1,500 gigabytes) of data from the TV network.
For comparison, an average dual-layer Blu-ray disc holds about 50 gigabytes of data.
"Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What's its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!!" read an anonymous email sent to reporters about the hack on Sunday.
This week, upcoming episodes of various HBO shows — including Ballers, Room 104 and Insecure — along with sensitive internal company documents and employee info turned up online.
A script for "The Spoils of War" episode also emerged, with the hackers vowing to take further action.
On Wednesday, CEO Richard Plepler told HBO's staff of more than 2,500 people that a forensic review is ongoing, authorities did not believe the company email system was compromised and that an outside firm would be engaged to provide credit monitoring for employees.
Media/Media distribution,Technology,Media,Technology/Entertainment and media technology,Arts and entertainment,Arts and entertainment/Entertainment,Arts and entertainment/Entertainment/Television programs,Technology/Technology issues/Hacking,Richard Plepler,HBO,Cyber security