An HBO executive allegedly offered to pay the attackers a $250,000 "bug bounty" as part of its programme for "white hat IT professionals". As we know from the leaking of further Game of Thrones data, the offer did not work and it's not known how much more data the hackers have their hands on to bargain with.
Variety cited sources as saying that the e-mail was worded in this way to stall for time while it tries to assess the situation.
The $250,000 sum is also well short of the "six months salary" request made in the video letter by the hacker, who claims to make $12-15 million per year.
"It's interesting that they're spinning it as a bug bounty program", said Pablo Garcia, CEO of Aliso Viejo, California-based FFRI North America.
The note said that HBO was willing to make the payment "as a show of good faith", but needed time to fund an account for sending payments in bitcoin digital currency or obtain account information from the hackers so it could use a conventional bank wire to transmit the funds.
The hack has come at a sensitive time for HBO, whose parent Time Warner is awaiting regulatory approval to sell itself to AT&T Inc in an $85.4 billion deal announced in October. "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week". "That's a very, very small amount in these kinds of negotiations".
Last week the hacker group leaked one script of "Games of Thrones" and content from other HBO productions.
Variety earlier reported details about the $250,000 offer.
HBO has said that it is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity firms to investigate the attack, which is the latest to hit a Hollywood business.
When Netflix refused to pay, the hacker posted a torrent for the episodes to The Pirate Bay.