Iranian hacker charged in HBO 'Game of Thrones' theft

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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.

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. "As a member of that group, MESRI conducted hundreds of website defacements using the online hacker pseudonym "Skote Vahshat" against websites in the United States and elsewhere around the world".

Behzad Mesri is accused of stealing data related to unaired episodes of HBO series including Game of Thrones and attempting to extort US$6m from the premium USA cablenet. It's also possible Mesri was acting without the knowledge of Iran's government, he said.

The 29-year-old hacker has been charged with wire fraud, computer hacking, threatening to impair the confidentiality of information, aggravated identity theft and transmission of an extortionate communication.

Since at least May, Mr. Mesri began monitoring the online activities of HBO employees, looking for vulnerabilities in the company's network, according to prosecutors.

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"Through the course of the intrusions into HBO's systems, Mr Mesri was responsible for stealing confidential and proprietary data including... scripts and plot summaries for unaired programming, including but not limited to episodes of Game of Thrones", the documents read.

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 hack at HBO happened nearly three years after a high-profile breach at Sony Corp., which unleashed a trove of emails that embarrassed top executives.

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

But there is nothing in the indictment suggesting Mesri targeted HBO on behalf of Iran's government or with its financial support, said Collin Anderson, a USA -based internet researcher who specializes in Iran.