United States officials charge Iranian man in 'Game of Thrones' hack

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A computer hacker who used to work for the Iranian military has been charged with breaching HBO servers to steal scripts of unaired "Game of Thrones" episodes and other unaired episodes of hit network shows, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

It might be a total coincidence, but on the same day of his indictment, a team of hackers took Sacramento's transportation system by storm, erasing data from their servers and demanding a ransom of one single Bitcoin, which is more than $8200 at this time.

Mr Mesti hacked into the television network in the summer and then tried to extort $6 million in Bitcoin from the company, according to prosecutors. Joon H. Kim, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of NY, announced on Tuesday (via TV Line) that Behzad Mesri has been charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transmission of an extortionate communication over the allegations.

Mesri has worked for the Iranian military to launch cyberattacks against Israel and has been a member of a Tehran-based hacking group called Turk Black Hat Security, which has conducted hundreds of website defacements against US sites.

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Behzad Mesri, an Iran-based hacker, allegedly hacked into HBO servers in May, stole confidential company data over the course of several months, and then attempted to extort HBO for $6 million in Bitcoin, according to the indictment released by US prosecutors in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

The accusations against Mesri come as the Trump administration cracks down on hacking cases against USA companies involving Iranian suspects. Later, he allegedly posted a screenshot of the HBO logo online, with the words, "Winter is coming". He also compromised e-mail accounts for various HBO employees.

"Yes it's true! HBO is hacked..." Mesri has been added to the FBI's "Most Wanted" list and Kim noted, "He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here to face these charges". Just past year, he noted, the federal government charged seven Iranians with carrying out a cyber attack on dozens of USA banks on behalf of the Iranian government.

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