USA authorities identify alleged Game of Thrones hacker

USA authorities identify alleged Game of Thrones hacker

Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim called Mesri "an experienced, sophisticated hacker who has been wreaking havoc on computer systems around the world for some time".

"He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here to face these charges", Kim said.

The American prosecutors have charged Mesri with different crimes, including wire fraud (it has a penalty of 20 years), aggravated identity theft, and computer hacking.

US prosecutors say a member of an Iran-based hacking group tried to extort HBO out of $6 million in digital currency by stealing unaired episodes and scripts of hit shows like "Game of Thrones".

The indictment against Mesri comes amid talk of plans by US President Donald Trump to scrap a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose economic sanctions. He also gained access to scripts from Ballers and Room 104.

According to the complaint, Mesri's attempt to hack into HBO network began around May and lasted till approximately August of 2017.

"Today, winter has come for Behzad Mesri".

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"Through the course of the intrusions into HBO's systems, Mr Mesri was responsible for stealing confidential and proprietary data including... scripts and plot summaries for unaired programming, including but not limited to episodes of Game of Thrones", the documents read.

The second e-mail included an image of the "Night King", a Game of Thrones character, with the message "Good luck to HBO".

Mr Kim declined to say if HBO had offered or paid any ransom.

It's worth noting that Mesri was previously a hacker for the Iranian Army. The hack at HBO happened nearly three years after a high-profile breach at Sony Corp., which unleashed a trove of emails that embarrassed top executives.

The alleged hacker broke in to United States broadcaster HBO's computer system and demanded a ransom in Bitcoin.

US federal prosecutors allege that Mesri leaked some of the stolen data on the Internet.

Kim also discussed that there may be more charges against Iranian Regime hackers in the near future.