Iranian Man Accused of 'Game of Thrones' Hack Attack

A still from Game of Thrones

A still from Game of Thrones

Iranian hacker Behzad Mesri in an Federal Bureau of Investigation handout photo. The hacker claimed he had 1.5 terrabytes of information, and tried to extort HBO for $6 million in bitcoin.

The indictment accuses Mr Mesri of computer fraud, wire fraud, extortion and identity theft, after unaired episodes of Game Of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ballers were leaked online .

Beginning in May, Mesri searched for ways to get into Home Box Office's network, using points where employees and other authorised users accessed the system from outside, according to prosecutors.

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Although the document doesn't state that the Iranian Regime told Mesri to attack HBO, it should be made clear that he is deeply tied to the Regime and would be unlikely to attack such a prominent target without their permission.

Earlier this year, HBO was the victim of a hacking incident.

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Iran responded by accusing France of taking sides and Macron on Friday said Iran should clarify its ballistic missile program. On Saturday, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's supreme leader, said Macron should stay out of its affairs.

He said: "Unfortunately I suspect this will not be the last time that we charge cyber offences against hackers with ties to the Iranian government".

Prosecutors said Mesri threatened to destroy data on HBO's computer system or release the stolen material unless he received $6 million in Bitcoin.

"Mersi allegedly organized his hacking scheme from halfway around the world, in Iran", Kim said.

"For the rest of his life - and he's a relatively young man in his late 20s - he will never be able to travel outside Iran, " he added.

According to the sources in the United States law enforcement cited by the Washington Post, senior Justice Department figures hope to publicize those cases in order to bolster President Trump's efforts to convince the Congress to re-impose sanctions on Iran. The company referred questions about the criminal case to Kim's office.

Last month, the US President refused to certify that Iran is complying with the conditions set under the 2015 nuclear deal that seeks to limit the Islamic Republic's nuclear program in exchange for the relaxation of economic sanctions that were imposed on the country for nearly 40 years.

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