Mesri, who prosecutors claim has worked as a hacker for the Iranian military, faces charges of computer fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, and extortion.
In addition to the HBO infiltration, Mesri also allegedly conducted cyberattacks on behalf of the Iranian military, targeting "military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure". The indictment, however, is part of a "name and shame" strategy the USA has used in the past to quell interference by foreign hackers it doesn't expect to be turned over.
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. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced that Behzad Mesri, 29, is the man accused of hacking the network's system and demanding $6 million in bitcoin in return.
Cyber experts are concerned Iran will refocus its hacker army on the US if the Trump administration and Congress abandon the deal. Along with the Game of Thrones scripts, he also accessed unaired episodes of Ballers, Room 104, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as a number of internal emails and financial documents.
"Hi to all losers!" one read. HBO received emails that indicated the information and episodes were being held for ransom, and that they would be released and/or destroyed if the cabler did not pay, Kim said, adding that HBO did not make payments. "HBO is hacked.Beware of heart attacks". During his communications with the network, he used an image of the Game of Thrones character Littlefinger, known for being a skilled manipulator.
"He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here", Mr Kim said.
"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.