USA charges Iranian hacker for stealing unaired episodes of hit HBO shows

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in the Season 7 finale of HBO's

Mr Mesri is a member of the Turk Black Hat Security hacking team who has worked for the Iranian military on other computer attacks, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Mr Mesri had worked on behalf of Iran's military to attack military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure. He is now still believed to be in Iran, but US officials are hoping the charges will deter anyone in the future of thinking of hacking into HBO, or any other major media company. Over a period of three months, he successfully compromised multiple user accounts and used these to obtain unauthorized access to HBO's computer servers, stealing "confidential and proprietary data" belonging to the channel.

HBO acknowledged the breach in late July, after the attacker began leaking news of an exploit after the broadcaster didn't pay the US$5.5 million (in Bitcoin) ransom, later incresaed to $6 million. He released the Game of Thrones scripts a week later. Mesri is accused of infiltrating HBO's networks and leaking internal company emails, as well as unreleased episodes and scripts for Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Insecure.

Prosecutors are expected to release more information at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. And officials have conceded that it would be hard to arrest him and take him into custody. He also stole scripts for the hit series "Game of Thrones", contact information for HBO series' cast and crew, corporate financial documents and login credentials for HBO's social media accounts.

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"He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here", Mr Kim said.

"HBO was on [e] of our hard targets to deal with but we succeeded", he wrote in one July 23 email, according to the indictment.

Emails sent by Mesri included one that said "Hi to all losers!" and another that said "Yes it's true!" During the Obama administration, the USA charged five Chinese military officers for hacking American corporations to steal trade secrets and seven Iranian men for crippling bank websites with barrages of traffic, as well as infiltrating an upstate NY dam.

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