Episode four of the series appeared online three days before its scheduled airing, bearing a Star India watermark.
Three of the arrested individuals were current employees of Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology unit of post-production outfit Prime Focus Studios, while the fourth was a former employee.
PFT issued a statement saying it had investigated the leak and provided evidence to the Mumbai police’s cybercrime unit, resulting in the arrests.
PFT has been a partner of Star India since 2011. The company said that the leak was “not a system hack” but “an illegal breach of obligations by the concerned persons despite of PFT’s continual internal emphasis on protocols of content security and ethical practices”.
“We deeply regret and condemn this incident – and affirm our strong resolve to continue the fight against content related crimes in an effort to make the media and entertainment industry’s content more secure,” the company said.”PFT has always been and remains committed to the highest standards in content security and integrity in managing its clients’ content.”
This comes as HBO reportedly accidentally released episode six of the latest series of the premium programmer’s flagship show in Spain ahead of schedule.
The episode, which was due to be released to subscribers next Monday, was briefly made available ahead of time in Spain – and possibly in the Nordic markets – for about an hour before being taken down, which was long enough for it to be copied and shared on social media networks, according to various press reports.
However, according to Spanish newspaper El País, pointing the finger of blame at the Nordics, where it said the show was also made available early, nobody in Spain was able to record and redistribute the show in HD and in English before it was taken down.
The HBO Nordic site reportedly went down on Sunday just after an episode of Game of Thrones was released before being reinstated later. The press reports did not however state that the wrong episode had been aired.
The latest developments follow the separate major cyber-attack on HBO at the start of August, in which hackers stole information about a forthcoming episode of Game of Thrones and other content.