The HBO hacker was offered a ransom before even asking for one.
A letter from HBO was sent to the hacker responsible for breaching the network’s computer systems suggesting he or she get paid for finding cybersecurity flaws, a common policy known as a “bug bounty.”
The hacker leaked the letter, dated July 27, to a number of journalists, according to Variety. Responding to the cybercriminals inital warning, HBO offered $250,000 for a “bounty payment” the network gives to “white hat IT professionals” as a reward for “bringing these types of things to our attention.”
“You have the advantage of having surprised us,” HBO wrote, according to Variety. “In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week.”
HBO takes a conciliatory tone in the letter for a company that’s being extorted by a hacker, but that was intentional. Network employees responding to the breach used the letter to buy time as the company investigated how badly they had been compromised. Some also felt the sum might be enough to appease the hacker, Variety reports.
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