HBO offers hackers $250,000 in Bitcoin

HBO offers hackers $250,000 in Bitcoin for stolen Game of Thrones scripts
11 August 2017   968

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...".

Sparkpool to Freeze $300k Reward

As reported, pool suggests that such a high commission could have been paid by someone in error and is considering the possibility of a refund
20 February 2019   68

The Sparkpool mining pool decided to freeze the remuneration in the amount of 2,103,1485 for the extraction of block # 7,238,290. The management of the organization suggests that such a high commission could have been paid by someone in error and is considering the possibility of a refund, CoinDesk reports.

The head of the Sparkpool Xin Xu argues that users of the pool understand and agree with the decision, given the size of the amount involved.

Unfortunately, and fortunately, blockchain is so far not completely run by machines; human are still involved. So we have an opportunity to correct the problem. Integrity is our pool’s priority.
 

Xin Xu

CEO, Sparkpool

While some users suggested that a large commission was paid by mistake, others admitted that this could be a goodwill gesture from an anonymous donor to the community of the miner or even an attempt to launder money through the blockchain cryptocurrency.