A spokesperson for the cable network confirms with News that, just days before it was due to premiere, the fourth episode in Game of Thrones‘ seventh season has leaked online. However, in a surprising twist, the leak wasn’t the fault of the major hack the network’s security systems faced earlier this week. Rather, Star India, one of HBO’s distribution partners, has claimed responsibility for this particular breach.
“This confirms the compromise of episode 4 of Game of ThronesSeason 7, earlier this afternoon. 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.” said a Star India spokesperson…
The episode, entitled “The Spoils of War,” popped up on Reddit early Friday morning in low-quality format thanks to a Google Drive posting in one of the website’s threads, The Verge reports. The leaked copy, which has been scrubbed from the website, bears the Star India watermark and a “For internal viewing only” warning. HBO handed over its distribution duties to Star India, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, in 2015 after struggling to run its own operations in the country.
The leak comes just days after HBO suffered a major security breach of its own, with hackers making off with 1.5 terabytes of proprietary information. Episode of Ballers, Room 104 and Insecuresurfaced immediately, as well as a purported script for “The Spoils of War.” No GoT episodes were leaked at the time, but a threat that more was “coming soon” was issued.
“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the network confirmed with News in a statement. “We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”