Throughout the HBO hacking saga, when the cyber criminals were leaking Game Of Thrones details and gaining access to an executive’s email account, the premium cable network has maintained that things are not as dire as they seem. Though the investigation is still ongoing, HBO has repeatedly claimed that the email system itself was still secure and that the hackers didn’t have as much stolen data as they claimed to have. It seemed like a pretty standard way to save face—and not give too much power to the hackers—but a new report from Variety suggests that the hackers really could be bluffing a bit.
This all comes down to a file included in the most recent dump of leaked documents called “Richard Contact list.txt,” which seemed to be the address book of CEO Richard Plepler. If it were real, it would mean the hackers had access to his email account, which would imply that the system had been compromised. However, Variety says that the file only contains email addresses of people who work at HBO and Time Warner, nobody from outside the company, which is unusual for a guy like Plepler who is a “renowned industry power player.”
On top of that, an unnamed source told Variety that the file was renamed between when it was stolen from HBO’s servers and when it was sent to the press, with the original name pointing to the HBO executive whose personal information was released in the original leak—meaning, again, that the hackers don’t really have access to everything they say they do.