HBO offers hackers $250,000 in Bitcoin

HBO offers hackers $250,000 in Bitcoin for stolen Game of Thrones scripts
11 August

HBO, an American premium cable and satellite television network, was hacked last week.

The hackers claim to have 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO, including scripts, unaired episodes of Game of Thrones, one of the most popular fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and confidential company documents.

 HBO hackers ransom note  HBO hackers ransom note

To stop the leaks, the hackers demanded their “6 month salary in Bitcoin”, which they implied is at least $6 million.

Now, Bitcoin-extortioners have leaked a screenshot of an email that shows a senior VP for the network offering the hackers $250,000 as a "bug bounty payment."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the email dated July 27th indicates a negotiation going on between the network and the hackers. But the HBO executive's missive to the hackers is carefully worded and avoids language that would be construed as paying off the hackers and instead is framed as an offer for a reward for discovering vulnerabilities in HBO's system.

As a show of good faith on our side, 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

It is unclear if the HBO email is authentic or if it has been doctored in any way. 

We also have not been able to put into place the necessary infrastructure to be able to make a large payment in bitcoin, although we are taking steps to do so as you suggested.
 

The HBO executive

The Hollywood Reporter claims, on August 3rd,the hackers sent an email to THR, indicating their motive: "It's just about money. We have weeks of negotiations with HBO officials, but they broke their promises and want to play with us...".

Ethereum network is still unstable

Byzantium had executed on Monday, but developers aren't ready to call the software transition complete
18 October

Organizations and developers are better off refraining from launching large projects until the Ethereum network is fully stable after the recent Byzantium update. This is said by the Gavin Wood, Parity Technologies head and reported by the Coindesk.

Since new versions of the software were released just days before the fork, much of the network has not yet been updated. So, at the time of press, slightly more than 25% of Parity customers updated, in Geth this indicator is slightly higher - about 59%. So, in total, the update was made about 45% of the network.

Another aspect that should also be taken into account is the short time for testing. In particular, the developers recalled previous versions of the software, discovering critical errors that could make the network vulnerable to DoS attacks or lead to incompatibility between nodes and, as a consequence, network sharing.

Therefore, the question of how safe the network is at the moment is fully justified and, taking into account what has been said above, remains open. This is exactly what Gavin Wood warned, recommending at this stage to refrain from launching large-scale projects.

In addition to the nodes that have yet to update, there is also a possibility that in the current Byzantium software there may be bugs that endanger the security of the Ethereum network. The most dangerous among them is a bug of consensus, in which nodes can not communicate. Its result can be the separation of the block-man into several incompatible chains.

As far as is known, at the moment developers are conducting extensive tests, trying to detect such bugs before they are active. As Gavin Wood says, if the network does contain such a bug, it will take several days to prove itself.

I don't think anyone believed the network was going to self-combust on block 4,370,000.
 

Gavin Wood
Head, Parity Technologies

The head of Parity Technologies is also convinced that if problems are discovered, the Ethereum development team will quickly release new updates designed to prevent any harm to the platform.