HBO offers hackers $250,000 in Bitcoin

HBO offers hackers $250,000 in Bitcoin for stolen Game of Thrones scripts
Diana Ugay's picture
Diana Ugay
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...".

Huobi and OKCoin to add Bitcoin Cash

Two largest Chinese exchanges add support for Bitcoin Cash
Diana Ugay's picture
Diana Ugay
22 August

Two largest Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges, OKCoin and Huobi, announced adding the support for Bitcoin Cash.

As OKCoin argues, the decision to add Bitcoin Cash was made after a "technical verification and comprehensive testing" of the coin:

Thus, OKCoin will officially support Bitcoin Cash (BCC) deposit and spot trading on August 22nd (06:00 Eastern Standard Time, UTC+20 HRS, 18:00 China/Hong Kong time). However, it is noteworthy that currently the exchange are only supporting BCC deposit and trading on the website. On top of that, to ensure a safe trading environment and to avoid potential 51% attacks and transaction malleability, there will be increased security verifications when depositing BCC. 

As for Huobi, the exchange claims that considering that Bitcoin Cash has entered the top three digital assets by market capitalization and has extensive support for trading platforms, there's the hope that users will realistically assess the risks associated with BCC trading.

Huobi will launch BCC/CNY on 17:30, August 22, 2017 (GMT +8). BCC trading will be available on main Huobi while BCC deposit was allowed from 17:00, August 9, 2017 (GMT+8).  

Bitcoin Cash charts on coinmarketcap.com Bitcoin Cash charts on coinmarketcap.com

As shown, at the time of writing, the Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency price is about $687 and its market capitalization is more than $11 billion.