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HBO hacker officially sanctioned by U.S. Government

Game of Thrones is a popular show, and such, it has had its share of leaks. Last year, however HBO on the whole, was the target of a huge hack, wherein the hacker got hold of scripts, episode descriptions, e-mail of HBO execs, and more. The hacker has now been formally sanctioned by the U.S. government. Read on!

The hacker has been identified as Behzad Mesri. He had tried to force HBO to pay him $7 million in bitcoin, threatening to leak scripts and episodes of Game of Thrones Season 7, as well as e-mails of HBO’s VP of Programming, Leslie Cohen. In the end, the Season 7 episodes were leaked, but not by this hacker, although he did leak the home addresses and phone numbers of several of the stars of Game of Thrones, which is probably why he has been sanctioned.

Prosecutors say that Mesri and his colleagues were working with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Mabna Institute, which is a company that hacks for the Iranian government. They have targeted a lot of institutions in data theft, and HBO has probably been their biggest target. Due to the absence of an extradition treaty, the hacker is unlikely to be brought to justice in the U.S. However by identifying the hacker, the U.S. government is planning on notifying other nations of the threat, so as to blacklist the individual. FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a statement about these sanctions:

“Today, not only are we publicly identifying the foreign hackers who committed these malicious cyber intrusions, but we are also sending a powerful message to their backers, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran: your acts do not go unnoticed. We will protect our innovation, ideas, and information, and we will use every tool in our toolbox to expose those who commit these cybercrimes. Our memory is long; we will hold them accountable under the law, no matter where they attempt to hide.”

Well, you wouldn’t want to be on the bad side of American justice. What do you guys think? Talk to us in the comments, down below!