It’s happened ― an episode from “Game of Thrones” has leaked online before its air date.
“The Spoils of War,” the fourth episode in the seventh season of what is arguably the world’s most popular television show today, is now available to internet sleuths. And that means the rest of us will need to be on our guard against spoilers until Sunday.
An HBO representative confirmed to HuffPost that the recent leak is not part of the larger data breach of the network’s servers. Nor is it the first “Game of Thrones” episode to ever leak; in 2015, four episodes of Season 5 appeared online just before the season premiere.
The Season 7 leak appears to have originated from one of HBO’s international distribution partners, Star India, whose watermark is visible on the video online.
“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,” a Star India spokesperson said in a statement. “This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action.”
The leak comes during a rough week for HBO, as news surfaced Monday of a massive cyber attack against the premium cable network. Hackers obtained the script for “The Spoils of War” along with episodes of other HBO shows in a breach that could be seven times larger than the devastating attack against Sony in 2014. A reported 1.5 terabytes of information was stolen, but precisely what it contains beyond the programming content is not yet known.
CEO Richard Plepler sent employees an internal memo earlier this week stating that the company does not believe its email has been compromised “as a whole.”
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.