Game of Thrones: The leaks that made headlines

Since its inception, the flagship HBO show has been plagued by hackers, paparazzi and fans constantly trying to leak its content.

Poojitha Jayadevan Aug 18th 2017 A-A+

From illegal torrents, set pictures leaked online and entire episodes too, HBO show Game of Thrones (GoT) has fallen prey to hackers once again. In its penultimate season alone, the series witnessed leaks of two of its episodes before its scheduled time of broadcast. Additionally, GoT is also one of the most illegally downloaded series, topping the list for five consecutive years.

Here’s a quick look at the leaks suffered by Game of Thrones.

August 16, 2017: The upcoming sixth episode of the seventh season, Beyond the Wall, was accidently aired by HBO on its own platform three days before its official date of broadcast. HBO confirmed that the error was committed by one of its third party partners. The parts of the episode was aired on HBO Nordic and HBO España platforms, but was taken off when recognized. However, the leaked episode soon hit torrent sites and has already been viewed by many.

August 4, 2017:  The fourth episode of season seven, The Spoils of War, appeared on the internet a day before its official broadcast. The leak was traced to Prime Focus Technologies, a Mumbai-based company that processes the series for online entertainment portal Hotstar. Following the incident, the Mumbai police arrested four men on August 14, three of whom were identified to be employees at Prime Focus. Initially, this leak was suspected to be a part of the HBO cyberattack that resulted in the theft of 1.5 TB of data. Later, it was confirmed that the episode leak wasn’t a part of it.

Read more: HBO hack: A lot more than just Game of Thrones

October 2016: A Reddit user with the name awayforthelads, leaked the entire plot of the seventh season online. While HBO remained silent on this leak, a reliable GoT news site Watchers on the Wall confirmed some of the plots that was leaked to be true. The account ‘awayforthelads’ disappeared shortly after.  

May 2016: The fifth episode of season six was leaked from HBO’s very own website a day before its official broadcast. The leak originated from the HBO Nordic website that caters to Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. The episode was eventually removed from the site, but not before it began its rounds in different torrent and pirated sites.

April 2015: The leak of the first four episodes of season five originated from early screeners. These episodes came from within a group approved by HBO and were of 480p quality. They also appeared on several torrent sites much before its official broadcast.

January 2015: Soon after the HBO’s IMAX screening of season four’s finale, the trailer of the fifth season was leaked online. This two minute long clip was leaked a few hours before of its official release. 

With rumoured leaks of the script for the next season already, perhaps HBO needs a better security system.