HBO offers $250000 as 'bounty payment' to hackers

HBO offers $250000 as 'bounty payment' to hackers

Meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in an email that was leaked by the hackers and dated July 27, HBO reportedly offered the group $250,000 as "bug bounty payment" and asked for more time.

Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) HBO network last month offered $250,000 to cyber criminals who hacked into its computer system, asking them to extend a deadline for paying a much larger ransom, according to an email reviewed by Reuters.

A person familiar with HBO's response to the attack told Reuters that the company sent the email "as a stall tactic" and had never meant to make the $250,000 payment or pay the full $6 million the hackers had demanded to hold off going public with data stolen from HBO.

A separate statement, obtained by ABC News in July, also revealed that the network immediately began "working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms" once they became aware of the hack.

Whether or not HBO ever meant to follow through with its US$250,000 offer, the email raised questions on Friday among security professionals about the importance of the data and whether HBO's reaction might encourage future attacks. A person close to the investigation confirmed the authenticity of the email, saying it was an attempt to buy time and assess the situation.

The hack follows attacks on Netflix, where a hacker demanded a ransom in exchange for not leaking episodes of Orange is the New Black.

The company said it was not communicating with the hackers. On Aug. 7, the hackers released a cache of data that contained a script summary for Sunday's Game of Thrones episode as well as 30 days worth of emails from a programming executive.

The hackers did not respond to a request for comment through the email address they used to communicate with HBO. There were also internal documents, including a report of legal claims against the network and job offer letters to top executives.