Indian Police have arrested four individuals suspected of leaking episode 4 from the season 7 of popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones. As we reported earlier, the episode was leaked on August 4 which was not supposed to come out until August 6 and had no connection with the hack that HBO suffered as the leak came from its international distribution partner Star India.
It looks like Star India’s partner technology vendor, Prime Focus Technologies, was behind the leak. Four people associated with the vendor leaked the episode online two days before its scheduled air date and now they have been arrested by the Police in India.
“We are deeply grateful to the police for their swift and prompt action. We believe that valuable intellectual property is a critical part of the development of the creative industry and strict enforcement of the law is essential to protect it,” said Star Indian in a statement.
The episode was first shared on Reddit forum using Google Drive and later it was taken down by law enforcing authorities but they were too late as the episode was already shared with many users.
Star India immediately initiated a forensic investigation to remedy the situation. Star India, HBO’s international distribution partner, telecasts HBO’s TV shows including Game of Thrones in India. People can easily stream the popular fantasy drama series Game of Thrones in India using Hotstar, a Star India owned streaming service.
According to the technology vendor’s LinkedIn page, the company also works with major media companies such as Warner Bros, Disney, 21st Century Fox-owned Star TV, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, CNBC Africa, Viacom 18, BCCI, IPL (Indian Premiere League), Sony Music, and many more.
To recall, HBO recently got hacked and hackers claimed to have stolen 1.5TB of data. After the hack, unaired episode of Room 104, Ballers, Insecure leaked online and a script of Game of Thrones’ unaired episode from season 7. Later, hackers also leaked phone numbers and email addresses of popular celebrities associated with Game of Thrones and other TV series. Hackers demanded a ransom of approximately $6 million dollars in Bitcoins and threatened to leak more data. According to some media reports, HBO tried to offer hackers a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to prevent future leaks.