Latest Game of Thrones episode leaks online, deals another blow to HBO

16 Aug 2017

Arya Stark, a character on Game of Thrones. Image: HBO

This season of Game of Thrones has been dramatic, but the real life goings-on surrounding it have been just as fraught.

The current run of Game of Thrones has been anything but smooth, with four people arrested by Indian police earlier in August after the fourth episode of season seven surfaced online.

The leak on 4 August was linked to three employees of Prime Focus, a Mumbai company that processes the show for Indian viewers, as well as a former employee.

BBC reported that the four have been charged with “criminal breach of trust and computer-related offences”.

As well as this incident, HBO is still dealing with a hacker group calling itself ‘Mr Smith’, which purports to have stolen data from the network’s servers. The hackers claim to have 1.5TB of insider information including show scripts, and HBO has offered to make a bug bounty payment of $250,000 in bitcoin to the mysterious hacking consortium.

The offer was put on the table on 27 July, but hackers have since leaked unaired episodes of other HBO shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Insecure and Ballers. The new episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm were not scheduled to air until October, according to Variety.

The network made it clear that it would not be responding to news about this hack any longer.

“It has been widely reported that there was a cyber incident at HBO. The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That’s a game we’re not going to participate in.”

Latest leak

If that wasn’t enough to contend with, The Verge reported that the unaired sixth episode of the current season of Game of Thrones was accidentally aired by HBO Nordic in Spain today (16 August) for an entire hour before the error was spotted.

HBO told The Verge: “The error appears to have originated with a third-party vendor and the episode was removed as soon as it was recognised. This is not connected to the recent cyber incident at HBO in the US.”

The show has become the most pirated in history, but it seems fans are taking it all in good humour.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects