HomeWinBuzzer NewsFBI Charges Hacker Who Leaked Game of Thrones, Trapping Him in Iran

FBI Charges Hacker Who Leaked Game of Thrones, Trapping Him in Iran

Game of Thrones hacker Behzad Mesri has been charged by the FBI with numerous hacking and extortion counts, but it's unlikely he'll ever face extradition. Instead, the US is using him as a message to other hackers.


The FBI has named and shamed an Iranian hacker for stealing 1.5TB of data from HBO servers. Behzad Mesri, also known as ‘Skote Vashat' or ‘Mr. Smith', asked the company for $6m in Bitcoin to keep Game of Thrones episodes under wraps.

But Mesri was no ordinary script kiddie. He previously worked for the Iranian government to hack nuclear software systems, military systems, and Israeli infrastructure. In his private life, he was part of the Turk Black Hat Security team, a group that defaced hundreds of U.S. websites.

The FBI is charging the Game of Thrones hacker for computer fraud, extortionate communication, identity theft, and more. A wanted poster is now present on the FBI site, asking readers to contact the nearest American Embassy with any information.

Unlikely to Face Justice

Despite that, it's very unlikely that Mesri will see US jail time. As you would expect, there's no extradition treaty with Iran, so he can't be arrested unless he leaves. We suspect that won't happen anytime soon.

Of course, the DoJ was aware of this.

“We made the determination we were not likely to get him. We weighed that against sending a message. That was the balancing we did, and we decided now was the right time to do it,” explained Joon H Kim, acting Manhattan US attorney.

Due to the US accusation of Iranian government ties, its also unlikely Mesri will be prosecuted there. The state won't want to be seen agreeing with the US' claims. In essence, the hacker is trapped inside his own country indefinitely.

The idea, then, is not to pursue justice, but to offer a stark warning.

“American ingenuity and creativity is to be cultivated and celebrated – not hacked, stolen, and held for ransom,” cautions Kim.

“For hackers who test our resolve in protecting our intellectual property – even those hiding behind keyboards in countries far away – eventually, winter will come.”

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.

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