Photo credit: HBO
MUMBAI, INDIA—Prime Focus Technologies has issued a statement explaining and condemning the leak of the (at the time) unaired episode four of season seven for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” on Aug. 4. The company described the leak as “an illegal breach of obligations by current and former employees of Prime Focus Technologies,” but emphasized that the incident from the HBO hack that occurred late last month. On Monday, Aug. 14, four men were arrested in relation to the leak, with reports naming them as Abhishek Ghadiyal, Bhaskar Joshi and Alok Sharma, current PFT employees, and Mohammed Suhail, a former employee.
Here is PFT’s statement in full:
On August 4, 2017, a link to view Episode 4 of Season 7 of Game of Thrones bearing a Star India watermark appeared online three days before its airdate as an outcome of an illegal breach of obligations by current and former employees of Prime Focus Technologies (PFT).
PFT immediately initiated forensic investigations to determine the cause. Based on a multi-faceted investigation including extensive logs of our system, a complaint was filed on August 6, 2017, and supplementary information was provided on multiple occasions, culminating in a First Information Report (FIR) being filed with the DCP Cyber Cell of Mumbai Police by Shailesh Manohar, Vice President at PFT on August 9, 2017. Acting on the information and extensive evidence provided by PFT, the office of DCP Cyber Cell, Mumbai arrested 4 accused on August 14.
PFT is appreciative of the speed and rigor with which the Special IGP (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra and DCP Cyber Cell of Mumbai Police have moved on this investigation. PFT is working closely with its client and co-operating with the police to take the investigation to its logical conclusion at the earliest and to prosecute the perpetrators of this crime.
PFT has been engaged with Star India as one of its key technology partners since 2011. PFT manages 1.5 Million hours of content for some of the world’s biggest broadcasters and studios globally. As a technology partner, PFT invests in content integrity and security, makes significant investments to ensure content protection and is ISO 27001 & SOC2 Certified.
It is important to note that this was not a system hack. It was an illegal breach of obligations by the concerned persons despite of PFT’s continual internal emphasis on protocols of content security and ethical practices. We deeply regret and condemn this incident – and affirm our strong resolve to continue the fight against content related crimes in an effort to make the M&E industry’s content more secure. PFT has always been and remains committed to the highest standards in content security and integrity in managing its clients' content.
This incident should not be confused with the HBO hack being reported.