Man behind HBO hacks is identified and charged

Game Of Thrones Hacker

"Yes it's true! HBO is hacked!"

An HBO representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

US prosecutors have charged an Iranian-based hacker with penetrating the network of cable TV provider HBO and stealing episodes and plot summaries for unaired programs including "Game of Thrones", then threatening to release the data unless he was paid $6 million.

They also said he was a member of the Iranian-based Turk Black Hat Security hacking group, targeting hundreds of websites in the United States and around the world.

He is also accused by US authorities of previously conducting computer attacks for the Iranian military that targeted nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure.

An indictment unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan accuses Behzad Mesri of hacking into the cable network's computer system in NY. American ingenuity and creativity is to be cultivated and celebrated - not hacked, stolen, and held for ransom.

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

Beginning in May, Mesri searched for ways to get into Home Box Office's network, using points where employees and other authorised users accessed the system from outside, according to prosecutors.

Mesri allegedly told HBO he took 1.5 terabytes of data, which he threatened to release publicly if the network failed to pay a "nonnegotiable" ransom of US$5.5 million in bitcoin.

Subsequently, on or around July 30 and continuing through August 2017, Mesri allegedly carried through with his threats, leaking information and TV shows online and promoting them via emails to members of the press.

The individual, Behzad Mesri, then allegedly tried to blackmail the network for $6 million (£4.5 million), and now faces computer fraud, wire fraud, extortion and identity theft charges.

The big question now is whether the U.S. will ever get their hands on Mesri.

Mezri is still in Iran and subsequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation might only be able to get a hold of him if he passes through another country, as the United States of America has no extradition treaty with Iran.



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