Feds reveal HBO's alleged Game of Thrones hacker in wanted poster
The infamous hacker who terrorized HBO last summer has apparently been identified.
Federal authorities announced the identity of the man they believe is responsible for hacking HBO and attempting to extort millions from the network.
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York 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.”
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.”
The bureau posted an image of the man here.
HBO released the following 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.”
According to the indictment, Mesri is a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team and has worked for the Iranian military on computer attacks against Israel.
Over the summer, Mesri allegedly exposed unaired episodes of Ballers, Room 104 and Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as scripts for Game of Thrones and some executive emails. No actual Thrones video was ever leaked as part of this particular HBO hack, however. The hacker also sent emails taunting HBO to the media and allegedly demanded millions to not leak more content. It’s not clear if HBO ever paid the hacker any money.
NBC News reports Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said there will be “real consequences” for Mesri. “He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here to face these charges,” Kim said. “The memory of American law enforcement is very long.”
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.