The show has been dogged by leaks over its past six seasons. Seven had a good run, with episodes 1 to 3 staying under wraps, but the fourth episode, titled 'The Spoils of War', was compromised sometime on the morning of 4 August.
An upload of the episode to Google Drive quickly spread on Reddit, but was swiftly removed under violation of copyright.
A watermark on the episode (see above), suggests the screener was intended for internal use.
The HBO hackers previously threatened to release additional content this Sunday (6 August), but it seems this was brought forward a few days.
Update I: There is speculation on The Verge and elsewhere that the leak originates from HBO distribution partner Star India, and is not related to the HBO hack.
Update II: Statement from Star India (via EW):
“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.”
Earlier this week, unaired episodes of some of the premium cable network's other shows, including the Duplass Brothers' anthology show Room 104, were leaked right away.
The channel acknowledged the cyber attack, all but confirming the leaked script for Game of Thrones ' fourth episode - titled 'The Spoils of War' - was real.
The group is believed to have acquired 1.5 terabytes of data - not including "thousands" of internal documents such as personal information regarding its employees - when it illegally broke into HBO's computer networks.
Variety discovered the newest threat via an automated email reply sent by the hackers stating the group will “release the leak gradually every week” citing “Sunday 12 GMT” as the next potential time.
HBO will strive to get as many streaming links and torrents of the episode removed as possible, but the internet is the internet and more will inevitably and continually pop-up ahead of Sunday's official, legal broadcast.
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