Four people have been arrested from Hotstar owner Star TVs in India for leaking Game of Thrones season 7 episode 4, ‘The Spoils of War’
While HBO is busy containing the 1.35 TB leak that happened to its servers, the Mumbai police are quietly going about doing their work by arresting 4 main culprits behind the Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 4 “Spoils of War” Leak.
After the episode was leaked on torrent websites, many had assumed that the HBO hackers had something to do with it. However, later it emerged that a separate set of hackers had targeted Hotstar, the App based movie streaming service of Star India which has many entertainment and sports channels beaming through India and other South Asian countries.
The leaked episode was low-res and buggy leading to the assumption that the uploaders were amateurs. After receiving a complaint from a Mumbai-based company that processes Thrones episodes for Hotstar the Android and iOS App, “we investigated the case and have arrested four individuals for unauthorized publication of the fourth episode from season seven,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan.
What gave the hackers away was the Star India watermark on the leaked version of the episode, which surfaced online two days before its official broadcast. The watermark clearly suggested that the GoT S07E04 leak had taken place from the Star India offices in Mumbai.
The 21st Century Fox-owned company quickly released a statement following the leak, saying: “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.”
Now, police have arrested four employees of Star India who the authorities say had privileged access to the GoT Season 7 Episode 4 “Spoils of War” The arrests were made based on the complaint filed by Star India. After the leak, the firm which deals in technological aid to media companies carried out an internal inquiry which revealed that the episode was accessed using ID of their employee Abhishekh Ghadiyal. But the stolen data was sent using email account of an ex-employee Mohammed Suhail. Police have arrested all the masterminds behind the leak namely, Ghadiyal, Suhail, Bhaskar Navinchandra Joshi and Alok Sharma in the case.
The Mumbai police also said that while Ghadiyal stole the episode from Star India servers, his colleague Joshi and Sharma uploaded it on the torrent websites. The ultimate motive behind the leak was divulged by the police.
A case has been registered under sections 408 (Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant) and 34 (common intention) of IPC and 43 (damage to the computer, computer system, etc.) and 66 (computer related offenses) of the IT Act. However, IT acts are notoriously incompetent in India and the accused may be out on bail soon.