Who Is the Anonymous HBO Hacker?

We Have Some Ideas...

Photo: HBO

In late July, Entertainment Weekly first learned of the anonymous hacking of HBO, during which 1.5 terabytes of data were stolen from the network--including episodes of Room 104 and Ballers, as well as written material from a not-yet-aired episode of Game of Thrones.

Over the past few weeks, the stand-off has escalated. On August 7th, the hacker(s) released the personal information of some GoT stars; a couple days later, they released an email from HBO in response to the initial video message from the hacker(s), offering them a “$250,000 bounty payment”; and just last night, Variety reported that the hacker(s) had leaked several episodes from the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not to mention the latest episode of Insecure and episodes from the forthcoming series, Barry and The Deuce. As if we weren’t already behind on TV series that hadn’t been stolen and illegally released online!

Little is known about the hacker (or hackers), but what we do know is telling:

-They work under the alias of “Mr. Smith.”
-They apparently make between $12 and $15 million a year.

-They’re dope at hacking.
-They’re still harboring resentment over the unsatisfying series finale of The Sopranos, presumably.

While HBO can hem and haw all they want about “letting the authorities do their jobs” and “you have no experience of any kind, please, we beg you, don’t do this” we at UrbanDaddy have decided to help. And using our masterful powers of deduction and proclivity for wildly uneducated guesses, we’ve managed to narrow down a list of likely suspects.

Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and/or Tim Cook

Who could stand to benefit more from a hacking of HBO than three high-powered tech executives looking to take over the streaming space? And who has more resources? I hardly know what an embed code is and am well-aware that if these three wanted to hack somebody, they could do so with ease.

Jason Mann, embittered winner of Project Greenlight Season 4
Take a look at this guy and tell me you don’t think he’s capable of sitting in a dark room, rubbing his hands together mischievously and hacking the hell out of the network that both made and (potentially) ruined his burgeoning career as a self-indulgent auteurist director.

Mid-level Russian oligarch who really loved Togetherness and was sorry to see it go, but is also hoping to erode the public’s faith in good television

“I like this crazy brunette woman and fat actor man. Their story make eyes rain. Damn you HBO!”

(Note to self: never try a written impersonation of a Russian accent ever again.)

Can’t ever count these fuckers out.

David Fincher
After hackers played a part in thwarting Fincher’s potential direction of the Steve Jobs biopic in 2014, Fincher saw the dramatic potential of the world of for-ransom hacking and decided to stage an operation of his own so that he could write a screenplay based on it. Fincher will soon describe this screenplay as “a spiritual sequel to The Social Network.”

Kristian Nairn

GoT’s beloved Hodor, who now makes his living as a traveling DJ (seriously). Promised by HBO executives for several seasons that his character would eventually get to sink his teeth into a script containing more than his single, series-long line, Nairn was crestfallen to find, when that time came, all the other words would be spoken by a child actor playing the character in a flashback. We picture him screaming “HODOR!!!” as he slams the “Return” key we like to imagine launched the hack.

Donald Trump
Recently seen muttering, “who has the leak problem now? hehe.”

Julian Assange
Just a real dickbag nowadays.

George R. R. Martin
It’s quite possible that Martin knows he’s out of ideas for the show, and is simply making shit up now. He has no idea how it's supposed to end and is doing whatever he can to derail the production until he can figure something out. His latest idea: it was all a dream. Dude’s fucked.

Could this all be a grand ruse? A disruptive marketing strategy for releasing new episodes, the likes of which we’ve only seen done artists ala Kanye, Frank Ocean, etc? A narrative they can later mine for an HBO documentary series about themselves?

Jason Smith, member of my high school graduating class, who frequently posted vehement defenses of Vinyl on Facebook
From one post: “Vinyl is the best show in the history of television, full-stop. Juno Temple is a revilation [sic]. If it’s ever cancelled I will srsly go after HBO and make sure they pay!!!”

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