Consistently regarded as one of the best television shows this decade with people all around the world praising it for its acting, cinematography and locations, now is a good time to be a Game Of Thrones fan.
Or is it?
Twice in the last month the latest episode has been leaked online before its scheduled broadcast date. Ecstasy for some fans, agony for other fans. Some will watch it early, some won’t and don’t want to read any spoilers, which are hard enough to avoid in Europe where you’re watching the regular broadcast a day after its North American showing.
The source of the first leak, which took place earlier this month, is a third party. A hacking collective has managed to infiltrate a major television network and cable/satellite content deliverer, HBO Home Box Office, and accessed their most current, most lucrative show and essentially stolen it and distributed it online. Is that not a bit worrying? That a company as large as HBO can be subject to such an attack? Disturbingly, it was not just an episode which was leaked online; additional script material and personal details of the cast and crew were also leaked. As reported by the BBC, the group responsible demanded a ‘ransom’ payment in exchange for no future attacks and disclosures.
But that wasn’t the end of it. This very week, a further leak of the episode scheduled for this Sunday (NA) / Monday (EUR) was apparently leaked unintentionally by HBO themselves. Worse of all, as this blog is being written and published, HBO media accounts have also been compromised. OurMine, the group claiming responsibility for this attack, used the accounts to taunt HBO in a veiled threat: “Contact us to upgrade your security”.
Worrying times for both fans of their favourite show as well as people interested in cyber security.