Four arrests made in India over Game of Thrones leak

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Aug 14, 2017

Just days after a hack that compromised terabytes of data from HBO, a leak, now known to be unrelated, of the immensely popular Game of Thrones added to the network's woes. The leak, a low-quality version of the fourth episode of Season 7 that contained a pivotal battle and big-budget action, was suspected to have originated from Star India, HBO's distribution partner there.

Now, as first reported by AFP, four arrests have been made, not directly from Star India but their technology vendor Prime Focus Technologies. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the arrests and posted a statement from Star India and Novi Digital.

"We have just learnt from law enforcement agencies about the significant progress made by them into the investigation of the breach, including the arrest of ​four​ individuals associated with our technology vendor, Prime Focus Technologies. This is the first time in the history of Star India that an incident of this nature has occurred. We are deeply grateful to the police for their swift and prompt action. We believe that valuable intellectual property is a critical part of the development of the creative industry and strict enforcement of the law is essential to protecting it."

Ultimately, the leak didn't harm Game of Thrones' viewership or HBO much, if at all. The episode went on to set a new record for the series, with 10.2 live viewers (and that's not including the many millions more who stream the series via HBO's twin streaming services).

Prime Focus Technologies, for its part, came forward to police when it discovered the leak had originated with its employees.

As for the hack, HBO reportedly attempted to offer hackers $250,000. While only script pages from Game of Thrones have been released by the hackers, episodes of other series, including Room 104 and the new revival season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, still two months from its debut, have been posted online.

SYFY WIRE has reached out to HBO for comment on the arrests.