HBO, a subsidiary of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), is trying to get its hands on $250,000 worth of Bitcoin in order to pay off a ransom from hackers, leaked emails confirm.
According to the correspondence between the company and the hackers who sent it to two American entertainment newspapers, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the cyber criminals demand great compensation for the six month of ‘work’ it took them to breach HBO’s system. The company is apparently trying to spin the matter as if they are paying security researchers for detecting their vulnerability instead of just caving in to ransom demands from hackers.
The HBO executive says in the emails that they have “been working hard since [July 23] to review all of the material that you have made available to us. … In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week.” He continues, “As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin.”
HBO is of course not the first nor likely the last media company to be hit by hackers. Earlier this year Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has reportedly declined to pay a Bitcoin ransom to infamous hackers group The Dark Overlord, resulting in ten previously unseen episodes of its hit show “Orange Is The New Black” being leaked on torrent sites.