HBO is currently dealing with an anonymous hacker sporadically leaking unaired episodes from several different series -- as well as other forms of private information -- but it wasn't an outsider hack that led to Game of Thrones's action-packed fourth episode making it online ahead of its Sunday airdate. No, "The Spoils of War" appeared online via media company Prime Focus Technologies, and after a brisk and successful investigation, authorities in India have identified and arrested four people responsible for the cyber breach.
A few days before August 7, when Game of Thrones' "The Spoils of War" would have aired in India, the episode hit the Internet bearing the logo for the broadcaster Star India, whose execs contacted authorities to file a complaint. The investigation initially was a collaboration between the Government of Maharashtra (a state in India) and Cyber & PAW, and the pair successfully followed the leaked video's electronic trail back to the offending culprits.
According to the India Times, a statement was provided by the office of Special Inspector General of Police Brijesh Singh, where it was stated that the search led to Prime Focus Technologies, the company that Star India had hired earlier to manage its data, with the Game of Thrones episode clearly being part of that. The company acknowledged its involvement, with one exec bringing a complaint against a current employee, alleging that person had teamed with a former employee and others and received unauthorized access to the episode, at which point it was then shared online.
On August 11, Prime Focus' Bangalore office was paid a visit by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, who interrogated employees into the night. All officiating parties, including the DCP (Cyber) in Mumbai, then reviewed the evidence and cemented the identities of four guilty parties, and all four were arrested on August 14, and they're apparently meant to spend seven days in police custody while the investigation continues. It's unclear at this point what will happen next, so we'll have to stay tuned.
Suffice to say that the guilty parties are lucky that the officials involved with the case didn't share a heritage with one Dany Targaryen. Since we know how she handles situations that she objects to.
There are somehow just two episodes left in Game of Thrones Season 7, which means fans should expect to see some truly crazy moments over the next two Sunday nights, and possibly ones that prove some theories true, while disproving others. It's happening on HBO at 9:00 p.m. ET, so don't miss it. And don't miss everything else hitting primetime and beyond in the near future, which you can read up on with our summer premiere schedule and our fall TV schedule.