United States prosecutors in the Department of Justice announced an Iranian national is being charged for hacking HBO in July and releasing scripts of the TV series 'Game of Thrones'. Kim also added that the fact that Mesri is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation will make traveling outside of Iran's borders hard. As the Washington Post notes, the indictment "does not allege he attacked HBO on behalf of the Iranian government" and seems to indicate that he was instead inspired by avarice.
On Tuesday, federal authorities in NY indicted Behzad Mesri, an Iranian citizen, accusing him of hacking HBO earlier this year. He is being charged with three different kinds of computer fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and more. As he continued to push for that payment, he leaked out stolen materials, including a script for an unaired Game of Thrones episode, in addition to unaired episodes of Ballers, Barry, Room 104, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Deuce.
The US Attorney's office in Manhattan charged Behzad Mesri, also known as "Skote Vahshat", with a role in the hack that simultaneously enraged and captivated fans of the show during its seventh season.
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The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY revealed Tuesday at a press conference than an Iranian named Behzad Mesri is wanted for "stealing proprietary data, including information about then-unreleased episodes of the popular television series, Game of Thrones, and then allegedly seeking to extort HBO". He also stands accused of being an occasional member of the hacking collective "Turk Black Hat Security". Kim said that Mesri sent emails to HBO threatening to release and/or destroy the data if they didn't pay.
It's unknown if HBO paid its hackers any money, but the stolen HBO files began leaking on July 30. He said he had taken a huge trove of data - approximately 1.5 terabytes - and provided proof of his claim. During the Obama administration, the US charged five Chinese military officers for hacking American corporations to steal trade secrets and seven Iranian men for crippling bank websites with barrages of traffic, as well as infiltrating an upstate NY dam.