Four Arrested for Allegedly Leaking Game Of Thrones S7E4

The fourth episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones was leaked online a day before it was scheduled to air.

3 min read

 The episode is genuine and includes a “for internal viewing only” watermark, according to media reports.

Four people suspected of leaking HBO’s Game Of Thrones season 7 episode 4 were arrested on 14 August, Star India said in a statement.

The suspects were nabbed after a joint investigation by the Cyber Crime division & PAW, Government of Maharashtra. In a statement, the Special IGP said:

Based on the electronic trail and other technical material, the investigators have zeroed in on Prime Focus Technologies – the agency contracted by Star India to manage the data - as being responsible for the illegal leakage of the episode.The material collected by the Department, together with the opinion, was sent to the office of DCP (Cyber), BKC, Mumbai for further investigation and necessary penal action in accordance with law.

The statement by Star India further read, “We are extremely delighted with the speed and rigour with which the Office of the Special Inspector General of Police Brijesh Singh (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra and office of DCP Cyber Cell, Mumbai have moved on this investigation.”

Game Of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Leaks

The fourth episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones was leaked online a day earlier, while the official episode was set to be released on 6 August.

The low-quality format leak is genuine and included a “for internal viewing only” watermark, according to a report by The Verge.

HBO had experienced a data leak on 31 July with over 1.5TB worth of data having been compromised by the hackers. However, the new GoT episode is not linked to this leak, reportedly.

The Star India watermark appears on the link, which is the distribution partner of the show in India. Star India’s spokesman also confirmed the leak.

The Star India logo is visible on the leaked episode. 
The Star India logo is visible on the leaked episode. 
(Photo courtesy: Hindustan Times)
This confirms the compromise of episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 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.
Star India Statement

The file being circulated on piracy websites states that the episode is 50 minutes long, making it the shortest of the season.

GoT is an extremely valuable property for HBO, and that’s more than evident in how they try to market the product, tease its upcoming episodes to keep the fans at the edge of their seats all the time.

Experts believe that even after the Sony hacking incident in 2014 (which resulted in pre-release leak of movie ‘The Interview’), entertainment businesses have failed to realise the threat from digital theft.

With ever-growing use of digital services, it is paramount that platforms like HBO and Netflix among others fool-proof their repertoire from such data mishaps, which could cause damage to the tune of billions of dollars.

(With inputs from Reuters. This copy has been updated to reflect the arrests.)

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