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Iranian hacker charged with stealing ‘Game of Thrones’ scripts to extort HBO for $6M in Bitcoin

A scene from Episode 67 (season 7, episode 7), featuring actors Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington. (Photo courtesy of HBO)

An Iranian hacker stole info about unreleased “Game of Thrones” episodes from HBO servers — and then tried to “extort” the network, prosecutors alleged on Tuesday.

Behzad Mesri, who went by the alias Skote Vahshat, has been indicted for cybercrimes related to the alleged hacks, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He has not been taken into custody and the feds are trying to track him down.

According to just-released charging documents, Mesri was a “self-professed expert in computer hacking techniques” who had worked on behalf of the Iranian military to attack military and nuclear software systems, as well as Israeli infrastructure.

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.

One of those targets, the feds allege, was HBO.

After pilfering info from the cable giant over summer 2017, Mesri tried to extort $6 million in Bitcoin from the company, according to prosecutors.

He is accused of stealing proprietary info such as “Game of Thrones” scripts and summaries, as well as un-aired episodes of “Ballers,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Deuce.”


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