The material collected by the investigating agency sufficiently established the role and involvement of both existing and former employees of Prime Focus as well as outsiders and arrest of 4 persons was affected on August 14, 2017.
Mumbai: In a major breakthrough into the case related to the online leakage of fourth episode of Seventh Season of HBO’s Game of Throne, Mumbai Police have acted on the complaints of and arrested an employee and three others associated with Prime Focus Technologies at its Bangalore office, who acted as the brain behind the leakage.
Star India and Mumbai Police had issues an official statement in this regards.
The statement from Star India stated that “Star India Private Limited and Novi Digital Private Limited gave a complaint to the office of Special IGP (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra, informing that an episode (season 7, episode 4) of Game of Thrones, which was scheduled to be aired for viewing in USA and India on August 7, 2017 at 0730 hours (local time) was leaked and made available for viewing on the internet.
The statement added “We have just learnt from law enforcement agencies about the significant progress made by them into the investigation of the breach of episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 7, including the arrest of 4 individuals associated with our technology vendor, Prime Focus Technologies. We are extremely delighted with the speed and rigour with which the Office of the Special Inspector General of Police Mr. Brijesh Singh (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra and office of DCP Cyber Cell, Mumbai have moved on this investigation”.
“This is the first time in the history of Star India that an incident of this nature has occurred. We are deeply grateful to the police for their swift and prompt action. We believe that valuable intellectual property is a critical part of the development of the creative industry and strict enforcement of the law is essential to protecting it.”
“We at Star India & Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited stand committed and ready to help the law enforcement agencies with any technical assistance and help they may require in taking the investigation to its logical conclusion” added Star India’s statement
Unfolding of the Investigation behind the leakage of GoT S7 E4:
The Officers of the Cyber & PAW, Government of Maharashtra, conducted preliminary enquiry and basis the electronic trail and other technical material, zeroed in on Prime Focus Technologies – the agency contracted by Star India Private Limited to manage the data, as being responsible for the illegal leakage of the episode. The material collected by the Department, together with the opinion, was sent to the office of DCP (Cyber), BKC, Mumbai for further investigation and necessary penal action in accordance with law.
At this stage, Prime Focus Technologies came forward and accepting that the leakage had happened at its end, lodged a complaint (FIR) against one of its serving employee and alleging that he along with another former employee and other persons unauthorizedly gained access to the episode and thereafter illegally leaked the same for viewing by the general public over the internet.
A joint team from the office of Cyber & PAW, Government of Maharashtra and the office of DCP (Cyber), BKC, Mumbai, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, swooped in on the Bangalore office of Prime Focus Technologies from where the leakage was apprehended to have occurred and carried out interrogation of the employees throughout the night on August 11, 2017. The investigation revealed complicity and involvement of more persons than those specifically named in the FIR, particularly the ones working in the office and otherwise lawfully having access to the raw data of the series. Investigation was simultaneously being carried out by Police Inspector Sardesai at the Police Station.
The information and material collected at the Bangalore office and the Mumbai Police station was collated, studied and analysed by the police. On being satisfied that the material collected by the investigating agency sufficiently established the role and involvement of various persons – both, existing and former employees as well as outsiders and arrest of 4 persons was affected on August 14, 2017.
All the accused persons were produced before the court of Magistrate. A prayer was made for their custodial interrogation and the court has been pleased to send the accused persons to police custody for 7 days, i.e., till August 21, 2017.
The police is still continuing with the investigation. The unfortunate incident of leakage, perhaps, a first instance of cybercrime of its kind in India, has been handled with deft professionalism by the office of Special IGP, Mr. Brijesh Singh (Cyber), Government of Maharashtra and the Mumbai Police.