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Iranian charged in HBO hack as Congress weighs nuclear pact

Iranian charged in HBO hack as Congress weighs nuclear pact”

Mesri has been charged by US prosecutors with stealing material including scripts for Game of Thrones and demanding $6 billion in untraceable digital currency as extortion. The attack was so severe that Mesri made it to the FBI's Most Wanted list. The alleged hacker, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified as Behzad Mesri, an Iranian citizen, demanded $6 million in bitcoin from HBO, threatening to release more sensitive content if the media company refused to pay up.

He demanded up to $7.91 million in extortion emails to HBO staff to keep the data secret, some of which ended with photos of the Night King, a menacing zombie villain from Game of Thrones, according to the indictment.

Mesri also at times worked on behalf of the Iranian hacker group Turk Black Hat Security to conduct "hundreds of website defacements" of platforms in the United States and elsewhere, the indictment alleges. Still, U.S. Attorney Joon Kim noted that Mesri doubtlessly perfected some of his techniques while working in Tehran.

HBO's 'Game of Thrones' hacker hit with charges in the US

The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY revealed Tuesday at a press conference than an Iranian named Behzad Mesri is wanted for "stealing proprietary data, including information about then-unreleased episodes of the popular television series, Game of Thrones, and then allegedly seeking to extort HBO". The attack also yielded financial documents, one employee's e-mails, and social media account credentials. HBO received emails that indicated the information and episodes were being held for ransom, and that they would be released and/or destroyed if the cabler did not pay, Kim said, adding that HBO did not make payments. By July, Mesri was allegedly leaking episodes of scripts and claiming to have obtained 1.5 terabytes of data. While many fans thought it was too good to be true, HBO's worst fears were confirmed when Game of Thrones cast members like Nathalie Emmanuel tweeted their disapproval of people ruining the season for everyone.

In March, DOJ charged four men, including two Russian intelligence officers, for hacking Yahoo and stealing information on 500 million users. American officials attributed the hack to North Korea, in retaliation for a film that mocked Kim Jong-un, the country's leader.

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