Manhattan prosecutors charge Iranian hacker over Game of Thrones sabotage

11_21_HBO_Hack_Winter_Is_Coming

Behzad Mesri, also known online as Skote Vahshat, is an Iran-based computer hacker, the U.S. District Court Southern District of NY stated in an indictment. He has not been taken into custody and the feds are trying to track him down.

Prosecutors said Mesri had worked on behalf of Iran's military to attack military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure.

Mr Mesri, a member of the Iran-supported Turk Black Hat Security team, conducted "hundreds of website defacements" in the U.S. and across the world, prosecutors said.

Mesri is accused of orchestrating a hack of HBO from May to August, then threatening to release stolen data unless the premium cable network paid a United States dollars 6 million ransom in the digital currency Bitcoin.

According to the indictment, Mesri launched a campaign this past May to gain access to the entertainment giant's servers through employee user accounts and got his hands on new episodes of shows, including "Ballers", "Room 104" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm", as well as scripts for "Game of Thrones". No actual Thrones video was ever leaked as part of this particular HBO hack, however.

Trump administration to end provisional residency protection for 60000 Haitians
They argue that it is contrary to American values to force people to return to a country that is risky and unstable. We must remain committed to those principles and stand with our neighbors in Haiti as they tackle their challenges.

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. Law enforcement officials feared the motivation stemmed from the Trump administration's efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran, the paper said.

The cyber attack surfaced over the summer as HBO was running a new season of "Game of Thrones" and as the cable network's parent Time Warner Inc sought regulatory approval to sell itself to AT&T Inc in an $85.4 billion deal announced in October 2016.

Emails, financial balance sheets, employment agreements and marketing strategies, were listed among the 1.5 terabytes of data claimed to have been stolen by the then-unnamed hackers.

At the time, HBO said of the extortion scheme, "That's a game we're not going to participate in".

"In the simplest of terms, he lurked in the alleyways of the Internet, identified the vulnerabilities of his victim, and pickpocketed their information from thousands of miles away", FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said in a statement.

Related News:

  • Former NFL WR Terry Glenn Dies In Car Crash

    Former NFL WR Terry Glenn Dies In Car Crash

    He apparently had a passenger in the vehicle, believed to be his fiancee, and she is being treated at a local hospital. Glenn was the Cowboys' leading receiver in 2005 and played a central role playoff runs in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
    National security advisor takes dig at Trump's intelligence

    National security advisor takes dig at Trump's intelligence

    McMaster said Kushner had no business being in the White House and shouldn't be involved in matters of national security. Sources tell Buzzfeed the dinner took place on July 18 at the Washington, D.C. restaurant Tosca.
    North Korea On Nuclear Weapons Program: 'There Will Not Be Negotiations'

    North Korea On Nuclear Weapons Program: 'There Will Not Be Negotiations'

    But analysts said Song might have limited influence given the mistrust between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Beijing. According to the NIS, those punished included the powerful bureau's chief Hwang Pyong So and his deputy Kim Won Hong.
  • Celebrations on the streets as Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe resigns

    Celebrations on the streets as Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe resigns

    The former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe had fired, has been appointed as the new party leader. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has stepped down, according to the speaker of the country's parliament.
    Meet the Turkeys to Receive Trump's Thanksgiving Pardon

    Meet the Turkeys to Receive Trump's Thanksgiving Pardon

    Carl, along with his wife, Sharlene, raised this year's presidential turkeys on their hobby farm in Alexandria. On Tuesday, Trump is scheduled to pardon at least one of two turkeys charged with... potentially being dinner.
    Apple will put your computer chipset from the iPhone 7

    Apple will put your computer chipset from the iPhone 7

    According to some snooping developers, the iMac Pro is to feature an A10 Fusion coprocessor, possibly for always-on "Hey Siri". Assuming that there are no unforeseen bumps in the road, Apple will begin shipping its brand new iMac Pro sometime next month.
  • US Launches Airstrikes in First Operation Targeting Afghan Opium

    US Launches Airstrikes in First Operation Targeting Afghan Opium

    He added that there are 13 major drug trafficking organizations in Afghanistan, of which seven are in Helmand. In September, we saw them, in the face of these tactical setbacks, take a knee and change their tactics.
    Woman with F-Trump sticker considers suing sheriff, attorney says

    Woman with F-Trump sticker considers suing sheriff, attorney says

    She and her husband have had the "F_k Trump" sticker for almost a year. "People abuse the badge, and in my opinion, money talks. The sheriff, a Republican who is not seeking re-election, slapped at Fonseca after learning about her new message.
    Harrison Ford Helps Rescue Woman After She Crashes Off The Highway

    Harrison Ford Helps Rescue Woman After She Crashes Off The Highway

    Harrison Ford came to the rescue on Sunday, Nov. 19 and he saved a woman from a really scary vehicle accident. A sedan rolled over off of eastbound Highway 126 in the vicinity of Eighth Street and hit a tree, he said.
  • SC takes notice of Faizabad protest

    SC takes notice of Faizabad protest

    Earlier, the government has constituted Ulema Dialogue Committee to persuade the protesters to end the sit-in issue amicably. The Supreme Court on Tuesday took notice of the sit-in that has paralysed the capital city for a fortnight .
    Honor 7X cuts bezels in budget Android

    Honor 7X cuts bezels in budget Android

    When we reviewed the phone, we were impressed by its solid performance, dual-camera capabilities, and attractive build. Talking about the cameras, the phone features a dual rear camera at the back panel with 16 Megapixel and 2 Megapixel.
    Gas prices up 2 cents per gallon for Thanksgiving travel

    Gas prices up 2 cents per gallon for Thanksgiving travel

    In Broward, you'll find the cheapest gallon at the Rocket Fuel station on North 66th Avenue and Stirling Road in Davie for $2.27. The average price of gas right now in Oklahoma City sits at $2.19 per gallon.


Most liked

Egypt's Sisi, Lebanon's Hariri discuss Lebanese political crisis in Cairo
The move caught even his aides off guard, and politicians close to him say Riyadh forced him to quit and held him in Saudi Arabia .

Trump discounts accusations against Senate candidate Moore
Trump said he is "very happy" that women are speaking out about their experiences. Al Franken (D., Minn.), Trump said Franken should speak for himself.

US Fed chair Yellen to step down once successor swears in
Yellen is Professor Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1980. Media reports said last week Trump was considering appointing Allianz economic advisor Mohamed El-Erian as a Fed vice-chair.

President Buhari mourns Former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says former Vice President Alex Ekwueme was a great Nigerian whose life has been a life of devoted and distinguished service to his fatherland .

Conte is Italian Football Federation chief's first choice
It comes after Italy's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation . There had been widespread calls in the Southern European country for him to resign.

33 people injured in cosmetics factory explosion
One firefighter was taken to the hospital with severe burns to his face, officials said. Multiple explosions rocked a cosmetics manufacturing facility in New Windsor on Monday.

London Buses to be powered by a Biofuel Made from Coffee
Royal Dutch Shell plc and Bio-Bean team up to help power London buses with a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds. Working with biofuel producer Argent Energy , the B20 biofuel contains a 20% bio-component and 80% cent traditional diesel.

Keystone XL Pipeline Clears Major Regulatory Hurdle
But there are questions about demand for the pipeline after a surge in drilling activity in the United States. The company has not announced the results of its open season bidding process, which ended October 26.

Alibaba takes $2.9 billion stake in food retailer
Year-to-date, BABA has gained 110.83%, versus a 17.00% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period. However, shares in Sun Art Retail took a dive by almost 13.6% in Hong Kong trading on the morning of November 20.

Christina Aguilera Slays This Whitney Houston Tribute at the AMAs
The stars worked together on " Lady Marmalade " and reportedly fought over who would get the best verse of the song. Still, Pink's response is not enough to prove to fans that something might be going on between Pink and Christina .

Thanksgiving travel expected to be highest in 5 years
About 89 percent of all travelers 45.5 million - are planning to travel by vehicle , an increase of 3.2 percent over past year . Almost 1.9 million Ohioans plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 3.3 percent over a year ago .

"Justice League" Takes in $281 Million at Worldwide Box Office
Sony also began rolling out Dan Gilroy and Denzel Washington's legal drama Roman J. And even that was close, with Logan grossing $88 million in its opening weekend .

Broncos fire OC Mike McCoy, promote Ex-Raiders OC Bill Musgrave
So, if Elway thinks this offense can be salvaged without wide-ranging personnel changes, going back to him would make sense. The Broncos averaged just 18.3 points per game through the first ten games of the season, the ninth-worst total in the NFL.

For obscene display, Baker Mayfield won't start Saturday for Oklahoma
Dineen later said it was done to fire up teammates and partly as an attempt to rattle the short-fused Mayfield. Beaty said he holds no ill will toward Mayfield. "They're not adults yet, they're still learning", Riley said.

Ontario college strike ends after 5 weeks
The NDP forced the legislature to sit through the weekend to debate the bill, ultimately passing it on Sunday. Colleges have extended the fall semester to make up for lost time.