Iranian charged in Game Of Thrones hack, extortion scheme

Kelly Massey
November 24, 2017

Today, a judgment against the hacker was from a federal grand jury for the US District Court for the Southern District of NY was unsealed.

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. It is alleged Mesri, who also uses the name Skote Vahshat, stole episodes and storylines of dramas including the premium channel's worldwide hit Game of Thrones.

According to an indictment filed by the US District Court in Manhattan, the suspect is Behzad Mesri, a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team who has worked for the Iranian military on computer attacks against Israel.

Mesri is charged with hacking into the HBO cable network and stealing a significant amount of sensitive company information, such corporate emails and new episodes of a number of the network's TV series. The email concluded with an image of the Night King, a character from "Game of Thrones", and said: "Good luck to HBO".

It's worth noting that Mesri was previously a hacker for the Iranian Army.

When contacted by WorldPost, HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson declined to comment.

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

USA federal prosecutors allege that Mesri leaked some of the stolen data on the Internet. It's also possible Mesri was acting without the knowledge of Iran's government, he said.

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.

The U.S. has neither formal diplomatic relations nor an extradition treaty with Iran, meaning the U.S. can't request Mesri's extradition.

Borrowing an ominous catchphrase from "Game of Thrones", the prosecutor said: "Winter has come for Behzad Mesri".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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