United States indicts Iranian in 'Game of Thrones' HBO hack

Feds charge Iranian hacker with stealing HBO files

Behzad Mesri is accused of trying to extort HBO with stolen "Game of Thrones" scripts.

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According to documents, Mesri honed his skills while working for the Iranian government and has reportedly hacked computer systems on behalf of the country's military.

Included in the theft were scripts for the shows "Game of Thrones", "Ballers", "Barry", "Room 104", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and "The Deuce".

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. "Today's charges make clear that nation states like Iran routinely employ alleged criminals, mercenaries like Mesri to conduct network attacks.in America and elsewhere", Kim said.

Mesri, a member of the Iran-supported Turk Black Hat Security team, conducted "hundreds of website defacements" in the US and across the world, prosecutors said. Yes it's true! HBO is hacked!

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He demanded up to $6 million to keep the data secret in extortion emails to HBO staff, some of which ended with photos of Night King, a menacing zombie villain from "Game of Thrones", according to the indictment. Over a period of three months, he successfully compromised multiple user accounts and used these to obtain unauthorized access to HBO's computer servers, stealing "confidential and proprietary data" belonging to the channel.

The HBO hack roiled the entertainment industry in August, raising new concerns that studios' hit shows could lose financial value when episodes leak out early.

"Hackers may think they're face behind the anonymity of the keyboard", said Kim. "That's a game we're not going to participate in", the company said in a statement.

Several people familiar with the HBO hack case pointed out that the Justice Department will often wait a year - sometimes several years - before unsealing charges in an worldwide computer hacking probe, while this case was unsealed after three months.

There will be a Federal Bureau of Investigation press conference on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.to announce the charges against Mesri.

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