U.S. charges alleged HBO hacker

The indictment claims Behzad Mesri is a former Iranian military who stole unaired episodes of several HBO series for ransom

The indictment claims Behzad Mesri is a former Iranian military who stole unaired episodes of several HBO series for ransom

According to reports, United States officials have charged an Iranian hacker Behzad Mesri, who went by the pseudonym "Skote Vahshat", for stealing 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO in May, that included the release of several unaired shows and scripts.

USA prosecutors charged Mesri with the hack in a sealed indictment that was released on Tuesday, although Mesri is believed to be Iran. Mesri is accused of leaking internal HBO emails, documents, financial information, GoT scripts, and episodes of "Ballers", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and more.

Rather than keep quiet, prosecutors say Mesri "undertook efforts to promote the leaks", actively seeking journalists to publicise the story.

Attorney Joon Kim said that although he could not be immediately arrested, but he would face "repurcussions", the news agency wrote. He was also involved in the computer network attacks that were aimed at the Israeli infrastructure.

Federal Bureau of Investigation, in New York
Image Behzad Mesri is shown in this undated

"Today, winter has come for Behzad Mesri", Kim said. But the media are not sure that USA law enforcement will be able to reach the hacker. In July, he emailed HBO executives in NY providing evidence of the hack and demanding $5.5 million in digital currency, a figure later raised to $6 million, it says.

The U.S. has neither formal diplomatic relations nor an extradition treaty with Iran, meaning the U.S. can't request Mesri's extradition.

From approximately May to July, the Justice Department said Mesri successfully compromised multiple user accounts belonging to HBO employees and other authorized users, and then repeatedly obtained unauthorized access to HBO's computer servers. "HBO is hacked! Beware of Heart Attacks!".

In a statement Tuesday, HBO said it was working with law enforcement but declined further comment.

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