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Iranian Man Charged In HBO Hack That Released 'Game Of Thrones' Script

22 November 2017

The Department of Justice has charged an Iranian national over a hack resulting in stolen data from HBO, including unaired episodes of the "Game of Thrones" series.

Photo The hacker released the script of an episode of "Game of Thrones" that had not yet been broadcast and also gained access to financial documents, cast and crew contact lists and other emails, the authorities said. Still, U.S. Attorney Joon Kim noted that Mesri doubtlessly perfected some of his techniques while working in Tehran.

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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 US prosecutors in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY plans to hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. regarding its case of Behzad Mesri, who is accused of stealing 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO servers earlier this year. Law enforcement officials feared the motivation stemmed from the Trump administration's efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran, the paper said. Some of the leaked videos included a graphic of the "Game of Thrones" character the Night King with the message: "Winter is coming". He is identified as being a member of the Turk Black Hat Security team, at times, under the hacker alias "Skote Vahshat", according to the indictment.

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Mesri has worked for the Iranian military to launch cyberattacks against Israel and has been a member of a Tehran-based hacking group called Turk Black Hat Security, which has conducted hundreds of website defacements against US sites.

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.

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On July 23, Mesri sent an email to HBO executives that read, "Hi to all Losers!" We can only guess that he will not be rushing to turn himself in, and if his alleged past work with the Iranian government is true, we don't think the authorities there will be to eager to see him in a USA courtroom.

Iranian Man Charged In HBO Hack That Released 'Game Of Thrones' Script