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Hacker Leaked New HBO Episodes this Weekend. But What’s the Real Impact? (L.A. Times)

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For two weeks a hacker has leaked stolen information from pay-TV network HBO in dribs and drabs, including “Game of Thrones” plot lines, unaired episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and, reportedly, actors’ personal information.

The incremental data dumps have caused prolonged and widespread anxiety in Hollywood about the entertainment industry’s vulnerability to cybercrime, following recent attacks — and, occasionally, bogus threats — against the likes of Netflix and Walt Disney Co.

So far, though, it appears that the damage to HBO has been less than the hacker originally advertised. HBO says it is not negotiating with the hacker, and much of the stolen material does not appear to be easily accessible to the general public, severely limiting the impact of the breach.

In the latest round of leaks, a hacker going by the name “Mr. Smith” sent media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, links to video files containing multiple episodes of the long-awaited ninth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which is scheduled to debut in October. Other affected shows include “Insecure” and “Ballers.”