In this image released by HBO, Daenerys Targaryen, portrayed by Emilia Clarke, appears in a scene from season four of "Game of Thrones." The 5th season of the show premiered on Sunday, April 12, 2015. (AP Photo/HBO, Helen Sloan)

In this image released by HBO, Daenerys Targaryen, portrayed by Emilia Clarke, appears in a scene from season four of "Game of Thrones." The 5th season of the show premiered on Sunday, April 12, 2015. (AP Photo/HBO, Helen Sloan) (The Associated Press)

A plot worthy of 'Game of Thrones: HBO scrutinizing leak of 4 episodes from drama's new season

Features Associated Press

HBO says leaked episodes of "Game of Thrones" came from within a group given approval to receive them.

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The premium cable channel said it is "actively assessing" how the breach occurred, declining Monday to provide further details.

Saturday's piracy occurred the day before "Game of Thrones" returned for its fifth season.

Four of the season's 10 episodes were leaked online to torrent sites. Within an hour, there were reportedly more than 1 million downloads of episode one.

Media critics and reporters are among those who routinely received advance copies of HBO programs. The DVDs are marked with serial numbers to identify the recipients.

The leak comes on the heels of the launch of HBO Now, a stand-alone streaming service for fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" and other HBO fare.