Federal Bureau of Investigation charges hacker who ransomed HBO and leaked GoT episodes

An Iranian man has been charged by United States authorities with hacking into HBO network and threatening to release un-aired episodes of the popular TV fantasy drama Game of Thrones unless a ransom was paid.

The US Attorney's office in NY has filed charges against an Iranian national accused of hacking HBO's servers earlier this year.

The hacker also stole internal HBO financial and strategic documents, and among them were home addresses and phone numbers of "Game of Thrones" stars.

He was also a member of the Turk Black Hat hacking team which defaced hundreds of websites with the online pseudonym "Skote Vahshat".

As Mesri is now a resident in Iran, US officials are unable to arrest the 29-year-old and his extradition to the US is said to be unlikely.

We all know about the Game Of Thrones hacker that was a pain in the neck for HBO.

Federal Bureau of Investigation, in New York
Image Behzad Mesri is shown in this undated

They conducted computer network attacks that targeted military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure.

Nevertheless, Trump keeps publicly pressuring the Congress to reintroduce sanctions against Iran and Mesri's case may well be a part of his anti-Tehran campaign.

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. When the amount wasn't paid, three days later Mesri told HBO that the amount had now risen to $6m and as an additional punishment, data could be wiped from HBO's servers. Included was an image of "Game of Thrones" Night King character, leader of an army of zombies, with the words, "Good luck HBO".

A spokesman with the U.S. Attorney's Office said that Mesri has not been arrested, but declined to comment on the suspect's whereabouts. He then increased the ransom to $6 million.

The guilty party is Behzad Mesri, an Iranian man who once worked for Iran's military mounting cyber attacks on the government of Israel, according to an indictment filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

"("HBO"), steal proprietary data from those systems, and obtain $6 million worth of Bitcoin from HBO through extortion by threatening to disseminate stolen content".

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