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Feds charge Iranian hacker with stealing HBO files

22 November 2017

Mesri is reportedly a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team. Still, U.S. Attorney Joon Kim noted that Mesri doubtlessly perfected some of his techniques while working in Tehran.

United States prosecutors say he stole scripts and plot summaries for then unaired episodes of the global smash hit "Game of Thrones" series, and unaired episodes for multiple other shows, including the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" comedy series.

Mesri, who uses the online handle Skote Vahshat, said he would release the material and destroy data unless he was paid $5.5 million in Bitcoin currency, the indictment charges.

The Justice Department on Tuesday charged an Iranian national with hacking into HBO, as well as attempting to extort the television network for $6 million worth of bitcoin, according to an indictment filed Tuesday in the US District Court in Manhattan.

The hacker released a script from "Game of Thrones" and episodes from several shows. "HBO is hacked.Beware of heart attacks".

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But only maybe. That's because the individual named, Behzad Mesri, is an Iran-based hacker who has allegedly worked on behalf of the Iranian government to break into computer systems around the world.

He is being charged with three different kinds of computer fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and more. Over a period of three months, he successfully compromised multiple user accounts and used these to obtain unauthorized access to HBO's computer servers, stealing "confidential and proprietary data" belonging to the channel.

One of those targets, the feds allege, was HBO. Law enforcement officials feared the motivation stemmed from the Trump administration's efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran, the paper said.

Behzad Mesri, also known online as Skote Vahshat, is an Iran-based computer hacker, the U.S. District Court Southern District of NY stated in an indictment.

"In the simplest of terms, he lurked in the alleyways of the Internet, identified the vulnerabilities of his victim, and pickpocketed their information from thousands of miles away", FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said in a statement.

Feds charge Iranian hacker with stealing HBO files