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Attacks/Breaches

8/11/2017
07:00 PM
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HBO Offers Hackers $250,000 as 'Show Of Good Faith' on $6 Million Ransom Request

The offer was reportedly designed to stall for time, with no plans to ever pay it.

HBO offered to pay cyber attackers $250,000 on a $6 million ransom demand, but the attackers failed to rise to the bait, according to a Reuters report.

The entertainment giant, as part of a stalling tactic, sent an email to the attackers asking them to delay the release of its proprietary content by one week, according to Reuters. The attackers, however, dumped 3.4GB of HBO data days after the entertainment titan sent its offer via email.

The July 27 email, according to Reuters, stated: "You have the advantage of having surprised us…In the spirit of professional corporation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week."

Previously, the attackers gave HBO three days from the time of receiving the ransom demand to pay up. A source told Reuters that HBO never intended to pay the $250,000 partial payment, nor the $6 million ransom request, and that the entertainment giant was only making the offer as a stalling tactic. The attackers reportedly stole 1.5TB of HBO's data, which includes copies of unreleased episodes of its popular shows like Game of Thrones, network administrator passwords, and emails belonging to its CEO Richard Plepler.

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cybersavior
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cybersavior,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2017 | 11:29:09 AM
Dear HBO
"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." 

HBO, you are not in any position of power with these criminals.  Don't negotiate.  Don't capitulate.  Make the call to Mandiant, get the pros in to secure your interests and press on as best you can.  That is all you can do.  Good Faith is not present within the code of thieves.  You're showing both your naivety and that you're a great mark for future profitable attacks.  
jarome
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0%
jarome,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/14/2017 | 9:43:07 AM
Re: "Stalling Tactic"
It is incredible that the administrators on the HBO network still used passwords that dould be stolen. Why aren't they using one-time-password tokens?

HBO deserves what they get.
RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2017 | 6:56:29 AM
"Stalling Tactic"
If you never intended to pay the ransom then why offer such a paltry amount in comparison to the ransom request. Offering 4% could risk angering the hackers and expediting their intended nefarious actions.
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