Federal Bureau of Investigation charges hacker who ransomed HBO and leaked GoT episodes

The Game of Thrones hacker has been identified and charged

Acting US attorney Joon Kim shared the news at a Manhattan press conference, stating authorities believe Mesri is in Iran, though they did not comment on his exact whereabouts.

Documents show how Mesri began research into HBO's computer networks and staff in May 2017.

He was charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of computer hacking, three counts of threatening to impair the confidentiality of information, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of interstate transmission of an extortionate communication.

The copy of the complaint uploaded by The Daily Beast mentions Mesri as an expert in computer hacking techniques, who had allegedly worked on behalf of Iranian military to break into the computer systems of the world.

"Today's charges make clear that nation-states, like Iran, routinely employ alleged criminals, mercenaries, like Mesri, to conduct network attacks in America and elsewhere", Kim said.

Earlier NV reported that in the summer of 2017, a group of hackers broke into the HBO and stole the script of the series the seventh season of the series Game of thrones, which at that time was not yet.

"[Mesri] will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here to face these charges", Kim said.

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On July 23, an anonymous email was sent to HBO employees that included the following message: "Hi to All losers!" He later raised the amount to US$6 million, according to prosecutors. "Yes it's true! HBO is hacked!"

The indictment, filed in NY, alleges that in July this year Mesri stole "confidential and proprietary data belonging to HBO, including video files of unaired episodes of Ballers, Barry, Room 104, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Deuce". To promote the disclosures, Mr. Mesri allegedly contacted members of the media and created a Twitter account to announce the leaks.

It is unclear if HBO paid any part of the ransom to the hacker.

There is also the potential for damaging correspondence to become public.

During mid-August, problems persisted, with unreleased shows hitting the Internet.

The hack and its fallout has been a headache as HBO's parent company, Time Warner, tries to complete its sale to AT&T Inc.

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