USA prosecutors also say he was a member of the Iranian-based Turk Black Hat Security hacking group that targeted hundreds of websites in the United States and around the world.
"He will forever be looking over his shoulder and if he isn't, he should be", said U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in a press conference Tuesday in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in New York City. The hacker gradually released stolen materials on the internet, including unaired episodes of "Ballers", "Barry", "Room 104", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Deuce". The indictment did not say whether Mesri was working on behalf of the Iranian government when he hacked HBO.
Federal authorities have charged an Iranian who has ties to his country's military with hacking into HBO's computer system, stealing unaired episodes of hit shows and demanding millions in Bitcoin as ransom.
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 USA sites.
The indictment of Behzad Mesri alleges that he stole proprietary data, including information about unreleased episodes of "Game of Thrones", and then sought to extort the company.
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Mesri also stole scripts and plot summaries for "Game of Thrones", according to the indictment.
Starting in May 2017, Mesri conducted "online reconnaissance of HBO's computer networks and employees" and "searched for access points to the network", the indictment said. No actual Thrones video was ever leaked as part of this particular HBO hack, however.
Mesri has been charged with wire fraud, four counts of computer fraud, interstate transmission of an extortionate communication, and aggravated identity theft. 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".
In a statement in August, HBO said that was not communicating with the hacker.