Late Wednesday evening, the social media pages of HBO and its entire slate of shows all began displaying messages from OurMine, a security hacking group, advertising its services.
The cryptic message read: “Hi, OurMine are here, we are just testing your security, HBO team please contact us to upgrade the security.” The group followed it up with posts that read, “let’s make #HBOHacked trending!”
Twitter and Facebook pages for both HBO’s company accounts as well as its programs, including Game of Thrones, Veep, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Silicon Valley, Ballers, and more were affected.
OurMine has existed since around 2014 and purports to be a “white hat” hacking collective—claiming to be hacking its victims to point out their glaring security system vulnerabilities. It has targeted BuzzFeed, YouTube, and Wikipedia, as well as the personal accounts of tech CEOs Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twittter), Sundar Pichai (Google), and others, typically pointing victims to sign up for its services.
This latest intrusion only adds to HBO’s hacking problems.
For the past few weeks, the premium cable network has been blackmailed by an unnamed—presumably foreign, due to its broken English—hacking group that alleges to have penetrated its systems and made off with 1.5 TB of data. Thus far, the group has leaked scripts to HBO television shows, dozens of personal emails from executives, and entire unaired episodes of shows, including three episodes of Game of Thrones, two episodes of Insecure, pilot episodes to the upcoming series The Deuce and Barry, two episodes of the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.
The hackers have demanded $7.5 million from the network and if their demands are not met, they’ve threatened to leak more HBO content. HBO reportedly offered the hackers $250,000 to quit their campaign, which they firmly rebuffed.
“We successfully breached into your huge network,” the hackers said in a video message contained in one of the data dumps. “HBO was one of our difficult targets to deal with but we succeeded (it took about 6 months).”