Iranian Man Accused of 'Game of Thrones' Hack Attack

  • Iranian Man Accused of 'Game of Thrones' Hack Attack

Iranian Man Accused of 'Game of Thrones' Hack Attack

U.S. prosecutors charged Mesri with the hack in a sealed indictment that was released on Tuesday, although Mesri is believed to be Iran.

However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a wanted poster of Mesri, seeking more information about him and stating that he is wanted for his alleged involvement in crimes including computer fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Mesri, who is not in USA 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 [and] mercenaries like Mesri to conduct network attacks in America and elsewhere", Mr. Kim said.

After HBO apparently refused to pay, Mesri began leaking portions of the stolen material on websites he controlled, the indictment says.

He also stole scripts and plot summaries for unaired episodes of Game Of Thrones and other shows, confidential lists of cast and crew contact information, financial documents, credentials and e-mails from at least one HBO employee, prosecutors say.

But Mesri is now in Iran, and USA officials have accepted that it would be hard to detain him.

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

In a July 23 anonymous e-mail sent to HBO, Mesri allegedly threatened: "Yes it's true!"

Mesri then supposedly stole 1.5TB of data and began blackmailing the network, demanding $6m in exchange for not leaking new episodes and scripts to the public.

The guilty party is Behzad Mesri, an Iranian man who once worked for Iran's military mounting cyber attacks on the government of Israel, according to an indictment filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

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

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.