Major cable-TV channel HBO has major problems. The start of their seventh season for the still-popular “Game of Thrones” may have been successful, but the reception of “Confederate”, a new show they are developing about a Third Civil War and modern-day slavery has been savaged by critics. Despite assurances from the HBO leadership and the program’s would-be show-runners (the same pair from “Thrones”), calls for boycotts have only persisted. Now a new problem has been visited on the cable network, one of a more digital nature. Apparently, HBO had just been hit by a systematic hacking assault that has made off with certain media contents yet to be released.

Stolen shows

The electronic attack on HBO is alleged to have taken place on Monday, July 31. The perpetrators then left email messages to employees of the network. Chairman Richard Plepler announced that HBO servers were targeted by a hack attack that made off with several samples of “proprietary info.” In plain terms, that meant a number of computer data have been stolen in the cyber-assault, including media files of certain HBO programs. Unconfirmed reports would have it that among the stolen data are unaired episodes from "Ballers" and "Room 104," but the major prize would appear to be a complete script for the next episode of “Game of Thrones” season 7.

Plepler notes that the cable network has begun an investigation of the hacking incident and in concert with both police and some private cyber-security outfits.

Furthermore, the emails left to HBO contained a subtle threat from the hacker or hackers that they mean to strike again soon. From the suspect’s own estimate about 1.5 terabytes of stored data have been taken from the company servers. HBO’s chairman assured that the perpetrators will not be allowed to do an encore with them.

“Data protection is a top priority at HBO,” declares Plepler, “and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”

Not the first time

The alleged hacking of HBO, a subsidiary of Time Warner, is the latest prominent media target of these high-profile cyber-pirates. Early this year, a hacker successfully leaked the entire season 5 of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” online.

The “Game of Thrones” series had also had a prior leak incident back in its fifth season, where the first four episodes were made public after the premiere date.

So far, HBO has been mum on confirming whether the data piracy was true. If not, however, it would mirror the debunked hacking of Disney that was said to have made off with a digital copy of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The report was disproved.