They say all publicity is good publicity, but I’m pretty sure this mantra quickly dissipates once you’re sitting on the other side of a jail cell. Such might soon be the fate for the alleged thief who hacked the HBO database and leaked data on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Variety reports that Behzad Mesri, an Iranian citizen will be charged by federal authorities for breaking into HBO computers and stealing data. During the airing of season 7 in summer 2017, we talked about this quite a bit here, and here, and even here! But the adrenaline rush a hacker must get by stealing the content of the world’s most popular television show surely isn’t worth the price paid at the other end of it…
“In July, HBO confirmed that its computer systems had been breached, resulting in what it said was “the compromise of proprietary information.” The hacker, who called himself “Mr. Smith” in some communiques, reportedly made off with a trove of 1.5 terabytes of data and demanded millions in ransom payments from HBO in Bitcoin.”
Looks like ‘Mr. Smith’ has finally met his match – just how devastating the consequences will be is something we’ll soon find out, as the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York has scheduled an upcoming press conference to detail the charges. But Game of Thrones wasn’t the only HBO program safe from the hacker who fashions himself a Brad Pitt wannabe. They also released:
“…episodes of HBO shows including “Ballers” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” HBO offered a $250,000 payoff to the hacker as a so-called “bug bounty,” but that move was in fact was a stall tactic by HBO as it assessed the situation.