HBO's Game of Thrones Hacker Identified, Charged For Stealing Scripts

Camille Rivera
November 24, 2017

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

Mesri also at times worked on behalf of the Iranian hacker group Turk Black Hat Security to conduct "hundreds of website defacements" of platforms in the United States and elsewhere, the indictment alleges. This would seem to indicate that Mesri is in a whole heap of trouble, or at least he will be when US officials actually detain him.

The indictment charges Behzad Mesri, who had, according to a press release from the USA attorney, "previously worked on behalf of the Iranian military" with the act. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced that Behzad Mesri, 29, is the man accused of hacking the network's system and demanding $6 million in bitcoin in return.

Cyber experts are concerned Iran will refocus its hacker army on the USA if the Trump administration and Congress abandon the deal.

"Hi to all losers!" one said.

It's unknown if HBO paid its hackers any money, but the stolen HBO files began leaking on July 30. Often, the emails included images of Game of Thrones characters like the Night King, with accompanying messages like "Good luck to HBO".

Prosecutors say that Mesri started sending provocative, taunting emails to HBO executives in July.

"HBO was on [e] of our hard targets to deal with but we succeeded", he wrote in one July 23 email, according to the indictment.

Indicting foreign government hackers is often viewed more as a tool of deterrence and diplomacy than an attempt to bring the digital assailants to justice, since their governments will never extradite them to face charges.

In response to today's announcement, HBO released the following statement. As he continued to push for that payment, he leaked out stolen materials, including a script for an unaired Game of Thrones episode, in addition to unaired episodes of Ballers, Barry, Room 104, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Deuce.

The FBI said he used his skills to stake out HBO employees starting in May, looking for weak points to break into the company's servers.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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