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FBI charges hacker who ransomed HBO and leaked GoT episodes

The FBI is charging an Iranian man called Behmad Mezri for hacking into HBO, stealing 1.5 TB of data which included numerous shows and unaired episodes of Game of Thrones, ransoming this proprietary data, and then leaking it.

Mezri's pseudonym is "Skote Vashat" and he was allegedly part of an Iranian hacker group which goes by the name of Turk Black Hat. Mezri is no ordinary hacker though, according to the FBI, this man was a professional hacker that had worked for the Iranian military in the past. Once he got into HBO's systems earlier this year and stole 1.5 TB of data he demanded $6 million worth of Bitcoin for the proprietary data he had stolen, HBO never paid the ransom.

As much as Mezri's crime was pretty outrageous we should consider the scale of subsequent crimes that were committed as a result of his and others work.The season seven premiere episode of Game of Thrones smashed TV rating records by the number of people that watched it. It was only beaten by the number of people that watched it illegally. Over 90 million people around the world pirated it, approximately five million of those were in the UK and six million in the USA.

Mezri is still in Iran and subsequently, the FBI might only be able to get a hold of him if he passes through another country, as the USA has no extradition treaty with Iran. This would still probably be easier than trying to deal with the 90 million people that watched GoT illegally.

Source: IB Times

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