HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Hacker Has Been Identified
It’s been some time since Game of Thrones’ penultimate season faced a rash of leaks, as did other HBO programs stolen by a hacker extortionist. Now, federal authorities have officially identified the perpetrator as an Iranian national with his very own wanted poster.
Per Entertainment Weekly, the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office of New York’s Southern District confirmed that Behzad Mesri has been indicted, and remains at large 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.” In addition to stealing proprietary data, Mesri (picture here) tried to negotiate a ransom of “approximately $6 million in Bitcoin,” though whether any of it was paid is unclear.
Mesri is noted as a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team with experience hacking for the Iranian military. For its part, HBO largely deferred to the authorities in a statement:
HBO has confirmed in the past that we were working with law enforcement from the early stages of the cyber incident. As far as the criminal case is concerned, we prefer to leave any comments to the US Attorney’s Office.
The August incident saw several un-aired episodes of Ballers, Room 104 and Curb Your Enthusiasm leaked to the internet, along with multiple Game of Thrones scripts. The actual Season 7 episode leaks were borne of premature airing accidents, not the hack itself.
In the meantime, Season 8 production will continue until summer 2018, after which we’re sure to deal with Game of Thrones leak threats all over again.
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