HBO has confirmed the theft of "proprietary information" linked to a hacking incident, and the hackers responsible have already started to leak the stolen content online, including un-aired episodes of several HBO shows.
While it is believed that no un-aired episodes of HBO's flagship show, Game of Thrones, has been stolen as part of the cyber attack, an episode outline of the fourth episode of the current season, which airs this coming Sunday, was indeed part of the stolen content and it has already been made available online.
HBO has confirmed to leak via an internal email sent to employees by HBO Chairman Richard Plepler.
"As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming," Plepler wrote.
"Any intrusion of this nature is obviously disruptive, unsettling, and disturbing for all of us. I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests."
Plepler's email contrasted with that from the hacker or hacking group, an email that was sent to reporters on Sunday.
"Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!!" the email read.
The leak, published to the website Winter-leak.com (which, at the time of writing, appears to have been shut down), includes the scripts and episode summaries for both episode 3 and episode 4 of the latest season of Game of Thrones, as well as un-aired episodes of Ballers, Barry, Room 104 and Insecure.
The leaks also included a file 'Viviane Passwords', which appears to contain plain text password for Viviane Eisenberg, HBO's Executive Vice President Legal Affairs. The password file includes passwords for Eisenberg's personal and banking accounts.
There are also several large files, named "HBO is Falling", but they appear to be un-openable.
More worrying for HBO is this statement from the hackers: "To be continued" - suggesting that either more hacks of more stolen content may be leaked in the near future.