Despite the ongoing hacking saga in HBO and subsequent online leakage of its 4th episode ahead of its scheduled date, Game of Thrones won a decisive victory over the HBO hackers by raking in 10.167 million total viewers in the US on Sunday.
This is a rise of 10% from last week and is a new season high. The news comes as attackers continue to escalate the data breach that the network disclosed last week. This week they sent a ransom note to HBO CEO Richard Plepler, while leaking executive emails and more Game of Thrones tidb its, including a plot summary for this week’s upcoming episode, marketing spreadsheets and media plan, along with contact information for stars of the hit series.
The attackers say they have 1.5 terabytes of information in all — seven times the volume of the 2014 Sony breach.
In a video letter set to the Game of Thrones theme music, the crooks said: “Our demand is clear and non-negotiable: We want [redacted] dollars to stop leaking your data. HBO spends 12 million for market research and five million for GOT7 advertisements. So consider us another budget for your advertisements!”
HBO is calling the attackers’ bluff — for now: “HBO believed that further leaks might emerge from this cyber incident when we confirmed it last week,” the company said. “As we said, the forensic review is ongoing. While it has been reported that a number of emails have been made public, the review to date has not given us a reason to believe that our email system as a whole has been compromised.”