The hackers behind HBO's recent data breach have leaked an email in which the US cable channel offered them $250,000 as a "bounty payment", Hollywood trade paper Variety reported on Thursday. The message from HBO, dated July 27, features the network's offer to make a "bounty payment" of $250,000 as part of a program in which "white hat IT professionals" are rewarded for "bringing these types of things to our attention".
A ransom note that was apparently sent to HBO from a hacker calling himself Mr. Smith was leaked on Monday.
"You have the advantage of having surprised us", the message reads.
The message also asks the hackers to extend a ransom deadline for one week in order for the network to secure and transfer the requested bitcoin payment.
Variety earlier reported details about the $250,000 offer. But rather than offering up the sum as a ransom payment, HBO refers to the money as a "bug bounty payment".
So there are good chances that HBO has submitted to the Game of Thrones hackers' demand and just wants some time to collect the full $250,000 in Bitcoin. An extension would buy the network some time to talk to its employees, distributors and creative talent and analyze the situation.
HBO offered to pay $250,000 to hackers who were threatening to leak episodes of its massively popular drama Game of Thrones.
The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data stolen from HBO.
The hackers did not respond to a request for comment through the email address they used to communicate with HBO. In that breach, the hackers leaked personal information, including the salaries and social security numbers of employees, and thousands of embarrassing emails.