U.S. officials charge Iranian man in 'Game of Thrones' hack

Game of Thrones

According to the indictment, Mesri is a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team and has worked for the Iranian military on computer attacks against Israel.

Behzad Mesri, also known as "Skote Vahshat", was charged with the hack in a sealed indictment that was released by the US Attorney's office in Manhattan.

In his hack-and-extort campaign against HBO, Mesri identified locations the company's staff used for remote access, compromised "multiple user accounts" of staff and contractors, and from there, logged into HBO's systems, the indictment said.

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Mesri's hack caused huge trouble for HBO toward the end of the summer, though it wasn't as damaging as the infamous Sony hack. 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.

An Iranian national who allegedly hacked into HBO servers and stole unreleased episodes of Game of Thrones has been charged in relation to the crime, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York's office announced Tuesday.

Considering Mersei now isn't in the United States, it may take some time for him to be caught by the USA government, but hopefully this sends a clear message to those looking to hack into HBO and leak the final season of Game of Thrones - which will be airing sometime in 2018 or 2019. The attack also yielded financial documents, one employee's e-mails, and social media account credentials. The FBI has been unable to arrest him because he remains in Iran, Mr Kim said on Tuesday. Kim said that Mesri sent emails to HBO threatening to release and/or destroy the data if they didn't pay. Things then went from bad to worse throughout the course of the eight-episode run including leaked Game of Thrones scripts and the biggest episode of the season, 'Beyond the Wall', when Jon and his party ventured past the Wall to capture a white walker. Just past year, he noted, the federal government charged seven Iranians with carrying out a cyber attack on dozens of USA banks on behalf of the Iranian government.

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