HBO confirmed Monday that they had been the victim of a recent “cyber incident.” Hackers say they’ve gotten their hands on 1.5 terabytes of HBO data, with a forthcoming episode of Dwayne Johnson’s Ballers among the released material at the time of this writing. According to Entertainment Weekly, the hack also includes “written material” allegedly related to next week’s episode of Game of Thrones.
“We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms,” HBO said in a statement Monday. “Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.” HBO hasn’t specified exactly the sort of data included in the breach, but EW‘s report adds that it consists of “upcoming episodes of a couple series and at least one alleged script or treatment.”
In a company email, network CEO Richard Plepler called the incident “obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us.”
Over the weekend, entertainment reporters—including those at the Guardian—received an email from an anonymous source alerting them of the hack. “You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak,” the email said. “Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling [sic].” Back in December, Game of Thrones was (once again) named the most pirated show of the year.
Netflix endured a similar incident earlier this year ahead of the release of season 5 of one of the streaming platform’s most popular series, Orange Is the New Black. That hack occurred a full month ahead of the episodes’ official release, though its damage on the viewing numbers was disputed.