Iranian Man Charged In HBO Hack That Released 'Game Of Thrones' Script

Jenna Warner
November 22, 2017

The Justice Department on Tuesday charged an Iranian national with hacking into HBO, as well as attempting to extort the television network for $6 million worth of bitcoin, according to an indictment filed Tuesday in the US District Court in Manhattan. "Today's charges make clear that nation states like Iran routinely employ alleged criminals, mercenaries like Mesri to conduct network America and elsewhere", Kim said. The FBI also said Mesri was a member of the hacker group Turk Black Hat Security team and conducted hundreds of website defacements.

The hacker in this instance is Behzad Mesri from Iran, and has previously worked for the Iranian military, according to the DOJ.

Emails, financial balance sheets, employment agreements and marketing strategies, were listed among the 1.5 terabytes of data claimed to have been stolen by the then-unnamed hackers.

Included in the theft were scripts for the shows "Game of Thrones", "Ballers", "Barry", "Room 104", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and "The Deuce".

Prosecutors said Mesri threatened to destroy data on HBO's computer system or release the stolen material unless he received $6 million in Bitcoin. "Yes it's true! HBO is hacked.Beware of heart attacks". Now, after plenty of investigating, the US Department of Justice has found the culprit and issued an indictment.

As The Washington Post reported Sunday, the HBO case is one of several that senior officials would like to unseal in coming weeks.

Asked about that report, Kim did not give a direct answer, saying he made a decision to unseal the charges in the HBO hacking case before the story published.

Court documents allege he had worked for Iran's military and been involved in a campaign to deface United States websites.

Kim spent much of the news conference saying the indictment posed dire potential consequences for the suspect, Mesri, but he also admitted that they have little chance of arresting him anytime soon. "That's a game we're not going to participate in", the company said in a statement.

You can read a full copy of the Behzad Mesri indictment below.

"Over the course of several months, Mesri used that unauthorized access to steal confidential and proprietary information belonging to HBO which he then exfiltrated to computer servers under his control", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Other reports by Insurance News

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