USA charges alleged HBO hacker

Game Of Thrones Hacker

Behzad Mesri is accused of stealing data related to unaired episodes of HBO series including Game of Thrones and attempting to extort US$6m from the premium U.S. cablenet.

Back in May, he began reconnaissance work on HBO, looking for restricted parts of the corporate network, before compromising multiple user accounts to obtain unauthorized access to the TV network's servers. In case his alleged role with the Iranian government is true, the Iranian authorities won't be comfortable to see him in the U.S.

The hacker in question is named Behzad Mesri, an Iranian national who has "worked on behalf of the Iranian military to conduct computer network attacks that targeted military systems, nuclear software systems, and Israeli infrastructure", according to the indictment.

He also stole scripts and plot summaries for unaired episodes of Game Of Thrones and other shows, confidential lists of cast and crew contact information, financial documents, credentials and e-mails from at least one HBO employee, prosecutors say.

A spokesman for HBO said Tuesday that the company has been "working with law enforcement from the early stages of the cyber incident".

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

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It's worth noting that Mesri was previously a hacker for the Iranian Army.

He later upped the asking price to $6 million.

"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".

But there is nothing in the indictment suggesting Mesri targeted HBO on behalf of Iran's government or with its financial support, said Collin Anderson, a USA -based internet researcher who specializes in Iran.

He pointed to charges filed in March 2016 against hackers linked to the Iranian government who allegedly launched attacks on USA financial institutions and on a flood-control dam north of New York City.

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

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