USA indicts Iranian hacker for HBO show episodes theft, extortion

USA indicts Iranian hacker for HBO show episodes theft, extortion

USA indicts Iranian hacker for HBO show episodes theft, extortion

An Iranian man who hacked into Israel's military is to face charges in the USA that he also hacked HBO and snatched Game of Thrones scripts before trying to blackmail the TV production company, threatening to release them online if not.

United States prosecutors charged Mesri with the hack in a sealed indictment that was released on Tuesday, although Mesri is believed to be Iran.

The Justice Department said in the release Tuesday that Mesri was a member of the Iran-based Turk Black Hat Security hacking team who worked on behalf of the Iranian military.

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

Here's the snag: Mesri is in Iran.

But Mesri is now in Iran, and USA officials have accepted that it would be hard to detain him. If convicted, Variety reports, Mesri faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud; up to five years for each of the four charges related to computer fraud; a two-year mandatory sentence for aggravated identity theft; and up to two years in prison for the extortion charge.

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MESR attempts to penetrate the network HBO began around may and continued until about August 2017. Yes it's true! HBO is hacked!...

The hacker, Behzad Mesri, also known as "Skote Vahshat", was involved "in a scheme to obtain unauthorized access to the computer systems of Home Box Office, Inc". But at least HBO can have some amount of closure. The email concluded with an image of the Night King, a character from "Game of Thrones", and said: "Good luck to HBO".

The indictment alleges that Mesri gained access to the HBO servers in May, getting his hands on hotly anticipated unaired episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ballers, and scripts from Game of Thrones season 7.

Mesri said he would release the material and destroy data unless he was paid $5.5 million in bitcoin currency, the indictment charges.

"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.

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