HBO's 'Game of Thrones' hacker hit with charges in the US

Wendy Jensen
November 24, 2017

Federal prosecutors in NY charged Mesri with seven counts, including wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, computer hacking, and extortion.

Prosecutors said Mr Mesri had worked on behalf of Iran's military to attack military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure.

"American ingenuity and creativity is to be cultivated and celebrated - not hacked, stolen, and held for ransom", Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said of the case.

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The indictment charges Behzad Mesri, who had, according to a press release from the US attorney, "previously worked on behalf of the Iranian military" with the act.

He breached several user accounts in the network and stole data from servers, later asking for a ransom worth a total of $6 million in Bitcoin.

An Iranian man, Behzad Mesri, has been charged in the massive HBO hack and extortion scheme, NBC News reports. The decision to indict him is part of a "name and shame" strategy the US government has used in the past to try to curb the work of foreign hackers it doesn't expect to apprehend.

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"Hi to all losers!" one read. Yes it's true! HBO is hacked! Often, the emails included images of Game of Thrones characters like the Night King, with accompanying messages like "Good luck to HBO". Later, he allegedly posted a screenshot of the HBO logo online, with the words, "Winter is coming". He noted that HBO did not make any payments. He also compromised e-mail accounts for various HBO employees. Kim said: "Mesri now stands charged with federal crimes, and although not arrested today, he will forever have to look over his shoulder until he is made to face justice".

A court in NY indicted him after he had already leaked scripts for the popular TV show Game of Thrones and some episodes of Baller and Curb Your Enthusiasm. During the Obama administration, the USA charged five Chinese military officers for hacking American corporations to steal trade secrets and seven Iranian men for crippling bank websites with barrages of traffic, as well as infiltrating an upstate NY dam.

The FBI announced charges against the hacker behind leaking HBO episodes during the summer.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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