Variety has obtained a copy of another message released Thursday by the anonymous hacker to select journalists in which HBO is apparently responding to the initial video letter that was sent informing the -owned company of the massive data breach.
According to The Guardian, the hackers had demanded huge amount from HBO for not releasing further data.
"We also have not been able to put into place the necessary infrastructure to be able to make a large payment in bitcoin, although we are taking steps to do so as you suggested", the HBO exec says in the email.
The executive continues: "You have the advantage of having surprised us".
HBO declined to comment.
Variety, citing sources "close" to HBO, said the network was merely trying to buy time to figure out its next move, and it never had an intention of paying what the email termed as a "bounty".
Whether or not HBO ever meant to follow through with its $250,000 offer, the email raised questions Friday among security professionals about the importance of the data and whether HBO's reaction might encourage future attacks. "In the spirit of professional cooperation, we are asking you to extend your deadline for one week".
The first HBO hack became publicly known on July 31.
However, HBO was yet to confirm the veracity of the email.
"There is a possibility that HBO's pre-emptive bug bounty programme may have yielded a better security posture for them, avoiding this situation altogether", he added.
Then, on Monday, hackers using the name "Mr. Smith" posted a fresh cache of stolen HBO files online, and demanded that the network pay a ransom of several million dollars to prevent further such releases.
In a bid to contain further leaks from a group of hackers, HBO reportedly offered to pay $250,000 to those who stole almost 1.5 TB data, including scripts of "Game of Thrones" (GoT) and other employee information, from the TV network.
HBO has said it was working with forensic experts and law enforcement in response to the attack.