A man from the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim was arrested on Monday for hacking into HBO servers and leaking the highly anticipated final episode of the hit series “House of the Dragon.”
These last episode appeared to be leaked in a pirating website. This isn’t the first HBO was hacked.
On August 2017, hackers had leaked the latest episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Insecure”, and a draft script of “Game of Thrones”.
The arrest followed an extensive months-long undercover investigation by the Israel Police’s cyber unit. “House of the Dragon” is a prequel to the iconic “Game of Thrones” saga.
The investigation was initiated after HBO lodged a complaint regarding a suspected breach into the satellite company’s servers. The hacker had illicitly obtained the confidential season finale episode and distributed it to pirate websites. The episode was apparently leaked two days before the season finale, which aired in October.
The suspect’s residence was searched, resulting in the seizure of digital storage devices and computers.
The revealing of the tenth episode of “House of the Dragon” gave away the plot of the story in the leaked video.
The identity of the hacker was not released to the public from the Israeli police. The alleged hacker’s cat helped tip off the police that lead to the arrest.
It is not what evidence he has hacked if it was the entire second season of the HBO series.
All the evidence collected during the investigation will now be presented to the prosecutor’s office for evaluation and a decision on possible charges.
According to the police, an anonymous user on one of the social media sites as well as a particular file were both named “Bird,” which later turned out to be the name of the suspect’s cat.
“We are aware that the tenth episode of House of the Dragon has been posted on illegal torrent sites. It appears to have originated from a distribution partner in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region,” HBO said in a statement. “HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet. We’re disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show, who will get to see a pristine version of the episode when it premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max, where it will stream exclusively in 4K.”
Despite the leak, 9.3 million viewers watched the episode, according to HBO. Entertainment industry reports suggest that the second season will air in 2024.
It is currently HBO’s most watched show despite the success of season 4 of “Succession” and the first season of “The Last of Us.”
“Game of Thrones” is still considered HBO most success series in the history of the network.
The show stars Milly Alcock, Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Emily Carey, and Ewan Mitchell.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate