A number of HBO Twitter accounts were hacked and taken over by the notorious OurMine hacking group on late Wednesday, with hackers asking the channel to contact them for “security upgradation”.
OurMine took control of the main HBO Twitter account, as well as those for TV shows including Game of Thrones and Girls, posting its usual statement:
“Hi, OurMine are here, we are just testing your security, HBO team please contact us to upgrade the security.”
HBO told NBC News that it was investigating the hacking of several of the cable channel’s Twitter accounts, which came as the company is trying to figure out how episodes of its megahit series “Game of Thrones” and other materials were leaked online.
The channel reclaimed its account in about an hour and deleted the tweets posted by the team of hackers.
OurMine has a history of compromising sites and Twitter accounts, with high-profile victims including Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, former Twitter boss Dick Costolo, young adult novelist Hank Green, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi Zuckerberg, and actor Channing Tatum, as well as websites TechCrunch and Buzzfeed.
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, the Time Warner cable unit that broadcasts “Game of Thrones,” offers the money as part of a program in which “white-hat professionals” are rewarded for identifying cyber security flaws.
The email was worded in a way that would allow HBO to stall for time while it assessed the situation, Variety reported, citing a source close to investigation.