February 22, 2018

Iranian national charged for HBO hack

24 November 2017, 01:06 | Cassandra Thompson

Former Iranian military hacker behind Game of Thrones leaks – Report

Game Of Thrones 'HBO' Hacker Has Been Finally Identified And Charged

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

Mesri, who is not in United States custody, previously worked for the Iranian military to conduct computer attacks against defence systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure, according to an indictment returned by a grand jury Nov 7 and unsealed on Tuesday (Nov 21).

"Today's charges make clear that nation-states, like Iran, routinely employ alleged criminals, mercenaries, like Mesri, to conduct network attacks in America and elsewhere", Kim said.

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.

According to the complaint, Mesri's attempt to hack into HBO network began around May and lasted till approximately August of 2017.

The acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim said that Mesri would not be able to leave Iran without risking arrest and extradition to the US.

He also stole financial documents, credentials for HBO's social-media accounts and the emails of at least one HBO employee, the indictment said.

The theft consisted of terabytes of information, which wasn't limited to scripts and unaired episodes.

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A spokesman with the US Attorney's Office said that Mesri had not been arrested, but declined to comment on the suspect's whereabouts.

The second e-mail included an image of the "Night King", a Game of Thrones character, with the message "Good luck to HBO".

USA federal prosecutors allege that Mesri leaked some of the stolen data on the Internet.

It is unclear if HBO paid any part of the ransom to the hacker.

There is also the potential for damaging correspondence to become public. "Yes it's true! HBO is hacked..."

You must remember HBO's rough summer of cyberhacks, extortion, and leaked material from various shows, including "Game of Thrones".

HBO is a growth engine for Time Warner, generating $4.65 billion in revenue in the first nine months of the year, about 21% of the company's total revenue.

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