The HBO hacking saga just gets weirder and weirder. This afternoon, Variety is reporting that the unidentified hacker has released an email from HBO, dated July 27, in which a network executive offers a $250,000 “bounty payment” as part of a program through which “white hat IT professionals” are rewarded for “bringing these types of things to our attention.”
Based on the excerpts of the email made public in Variety’s report, HBO appears to be playing nice with their tormentor. However, Variety, citing “a source close to the investigation,” reports that the email was worded so as to stall for time while HBO assesses the situation and decides on a course of action. “You have the advantage of having surprised us,” the email reads. “In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week.”
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the network said in a statement soon after the hack was first revealed. “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”
HBO declined to comment for Variety’s story. Enjoy a less serious take on the HBO hack here.