Variety has obtained a copy of another message released Thursday by the anonymous hacker to select journalists in which HBO is apparently responding to the initial video letter that was sent informing the -owned company of the massive data breach.
“We are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire Bitcoin”, the HBO executive’s email reportedly stated.
However, this week hackers released an email from HBO according to which the network has agreed to pay $250,000 as part of a negotiation over data swiped from HBO’s servers. “In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week”.
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.
With Time Warner beholden to the Trump administration during this sensitive time, who knows what kind of emails hackers might have found surrounding, say, the production of Real Time With Bill Maher, hosted by a staunch opponent of the President?
Variety cited sources as saying that the e-mail was worded in this way to stall for time while it tries to assess the situation.
The email described the payment as a Time Warner program created to reward white hat internet operatives who bring sensitive threats to management’s attention.
The HBO hacker has struck yet again. An automated response was returned with an image of the HBO “bounty” offer, Reuters said.