HBO offers $250000 to hackers, here's why

In addition to "Curb", tonight's episode of "Insecure" was also leaked, along with episodes of "Ballers" and new series, "The Deuce" starring James Franco (scheduled to premiere September 10) and "Barry", the Bill Hader comedy set for a January 2018 debut. It creates some original content as well.

The hacker - or hackers - in question stole "thousands of Home Box Office (HBO) internal company documents", in addition to leaking unaired episodes of the HBO shows "Ballers" and "Insecure", and company emails. Unsurprisingly, their targets included one of HBO's biggest shows ever - "Game of Thrones".

But paying ransoms to hackers can be unsafe because it shows that being a bad-guy hacker is a good business, said cybersecurity expert Oren Falkowitz, CEO of Redwood City, California-based Area 1 Security. Private data and job offer letters are also in this leak.

They released an extortion note and some stolen data, including details about an upcoming episode of the network's popular drama "Game of Thrones". The news was confirmed by the channel who admitted that the episode leak was a security breach.

The hackers did not respond to a request for comment through the email address they used to communicate with HBO.

The network acknowledged the hack in late July and the thieves are demanding a multimillion-dollar ransom. They are now reportedly asking for millions-worth of Bitcoin ransom to stop plaguing the entertainment company. The hackers have asked for a bit coin payment.

Whether or not HBO ever meant to follow through with its $250,000 offer, the email raised questions Friday among security professionals about the importance of the data and whether HBO's reaction might encourage future attacks.

When Netflix refused to pay, the hacker posted a torrent for the episodes to The Pirate Bay. The hacker claimed to make $12 million to $15 million per year.

Vanessa Coleman

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