Game of Thrones: Episode 4, The Spoils of War leaked, Star India responsible
Episode 4 of Game of Thrones’ seventh season has been leaked online. The leak has been confirmed to have originated from Star India. Here’s their statement.Updated: Aug 04, 2017 22:51 IST
In a bizarre coincidence, hackers stole 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO, including material on fantasy series Game of Thrones, which they threatened to leak periodically, but someone else beat them to it.
Before the hackers could carry out the threat, the unaired episode 4, titled The Spoils of War, was leaked online on Friday, three days before its official air date. The leak originated from Hotstar, the Indian streaming service where the show is aired ‘minutes after America’.
The file, which is being circulated on piracy websites, confirms that the episode is the season’s shortest yet. It lasts 50 minutes. Star India watermarks appear on the file.
According to a report on The Verge, “a leak from a distribution partner is the source of this episode appearing online. The distribution partner is Star India, and the company’s logo appears watermarked throughout the leaked episode.”
A Star India spokesperson confirmed the leak: “This confirms the compromise of episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 7, earlier this afternoon,” the spokesperson said. “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. This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action.”
HBO declined to specify what materials had been targeted in the earlier hack, although episodes of Ballers and Room 104 were rumoured to have been stolen. This leak however, is a part of a separate incident.
Addressing the original hack, HBO Chairman Richard Plepler wrote in a message to employees, which the company shared with reporters, “As most of you have probably heard by now, there has been a cyber incident directed at the company which has resulted in some stolen proprietary information, including some of our programming.”
In an automated email reply sent to Variety, the hackers wrote that they will “release the leak gradually every week,” adding that the next release may come on “Sunday”.
Game of Thrones is currently three episodes into its seventh season.
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First Published: Aug 04, 2017 19:27 IST