Iranian Accused Of Hacking HBO

24 November, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Game Of Thrones 'HBO' Hacker Has Been Finally Identified And Charged

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

According to an indictment filed by the US District Court in Manhattan, the suspect is Behzad Mesri, a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team who has worked for the Iranian military on computer attacks against Israel.

"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.

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.

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"He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here to face these charges", Kim said.

Over the next couple months, Mr. Mesri compromised user accounts that belonged to HBO employees and used them repeatedly to gain unauthorized access and steal proprietary information from the company, the indictment said.

In July, he began sending taunting emails to HBO executives, using "Game of Thrones" imagery and slogans, prosecutors said. "HBO is hacked!. Beware of heart Attack!"

Another email later that day included a threat to publicly release the stolen data, including unaired TV episodes and scripts, unless HBO paid a ransom of approximately $5.5 million worth of bitcoin.

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The alleged hacker broke in to United States broadcaster HBO's computer system and demanded a ransom in Bitcoin.

"HBO has confirmed in the past that we were working with law enforcement from the early stages of the cyber incident", the network said in a statement.

USA federal prosecutors allege that Mesri leaked some of the stolen data on the Internet.

However, the leaks didn't affect Game of Thrones in the long run as the show continued to break the records.

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