The US DOJ has indicted the HBO hacker
- Author: Kyle Peterson Nov 22, 2017,
Nov 22, 2017, 0:22
Behzad Mesri was charged with conducting the high-profile attack in which hackers over the summer demanded $6 million from the channel before leaking unreleased episodes of HBO's top-rated shows, including "Game of Thrones".
According to the indictment, Mesri is a "self-professed expert in computer hacking techniques, and had worked on behalf of the Iranian military to conduct computer network attacks that targeted military systems, nuclear software systems, and Israeli infrastructure".
He is accused of stealing Game of Thrones scripts and summaries, as well as un-aired episodes of Ballers, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Deuce.
Still, U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said there would be "real consequences" for Mesri if he was ever detained. Whether or not the United States authorities will be able to arrest and charge the culprit remains to be seen though. He was also part of a hacking group known as the Turk Black Hat Security team.
But in the HBO hack, authorities say his motives may have been simpler: greed.
One of those targets, the feds allege, was HBO.
Specifically, he's "wanted for his alleged involvement in criminal activities to include unauthorized access to computer systems, stealing proprietary data from those systems, and attempted extortion for approximately $6 million in Bitcoin".
He then sent a series of anonymous emails to multiple HBO executives, employees, and other representatives providing proof that he had hacked into their systems, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"Unfortunately I suspect this will not be the last time that we charge cyber offenses against hackers with ties to the Iranian government", he said. Some of the leaked videos included a graphic of the "Game of Thrones" character the Night King with the message: "Winter is coming". Now, after plenty of investigating, the US Department of Justice has found the culprit and issued an indictment.
"We made that determination that we were not likely to be able to get him and we should go public with it, " Kim said.