Variety has opted not to publish the name or email address of the HBO executive from which the message was sent.
The data dump included what appear to be scripts from five Game of Thrones episodes, including one upcoming episode, and a month's worth of email from the account of Leslie Cohen, HBO's vice-president for film programming. However, HBO quickly discovered that much more than that had recently been stolen by hackers.
"We take this breach very seriously and have immediately initiated forensic investigations at our and the technology partner's end to swiftly determine the cause".
After releasing some of that data, the hackers demanded ransom. This was the second data leak from the hackers, but so far, the damage to the network has been limited compared to a similar hack on Sony's network in 2014.
What are your thoughts on the threat to HBO and our beloved Game of Thrones? HBO doesn't believe the hackers represented by "Mr. Smith" possess actual episodes of Thrones, although they have threatened to release episodes of other series with their "HBO is Falling" logo superimposed.
At the time, HBO issued the following statement: "HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information".