Iranian charged for Game of Thrones hack

Emilia Clarke

USA prosecutors also say he was a member of the Iranian-based Turk Black Hat Security hacking group that targeted hundreds of websites in the United States and around the world.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said Mesri will face "real consequences" as the "memory of American law enforcement is very long".

He allegedly stole scripts and plot summaries for "Game of Thrones", as well as confidential video files containing unaired episodes of HBO shows including "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "The Deuce" and "Ballers".

Behzad Mesri, an Iran-based hacker, allegedly hacked into HBO servers in May, stole confidential company data over the course of several months, and then attempted to extort HBO for $6 million in Bitcoin, according to the indictment released by USA prosecutors in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

Mesri, a member of the Turk Black Hat Society hacking group, has worked with Iran's military in creating all manner of cyber attacks targeting Israel, but in this case, it's not believed that the HBO hack went forward on behalf of Iran's government.

According to the indictment, Mesri had conducted reconnaissance on HBO's computer network and employees, looking for vulnerabilities.

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Behzad Mesri, also known online as Skote Vahshat, is an Iran-based computer hacker, the U.S. District Court Southern District of NY stated in an indictment.

Behzad Mesri was charged with conducting the high-profile attack in which hackers over the summer demanded $6 million from the channel before leaking unreleased episodes of HBO's top-rated shows, including "Game of Thrones".

Mesri, who uses the online handle Skote Vahshat, said he would release the material and destroy data unless he was paid $5.5 million in Bitcoin currency, the indictment charges.

On July 23, Mesri sent an email to HBO executives that read, "Hi to all Losers!" He was not, however, working for the Iranian government when he allegedly hacked HBO.

Mesri has been charged with multiple counts, including, wire fraud, computer hacking, aggravated identify theft and interstate transmission of extortionate communication.

"For hackers who test our resolve in protecting our intellectual property ‒ even those hiding behind keyboards in countries far away ‒ eventually, winter will come", said Kim.

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