HBO might not be falling, but the mask protecting the identify of a hacker going by the name of Mr. Smith appears to be.
Government officials released a complaint which purportedly identifies the individual behind the massive hack of the entertainment company that played out in leak after leak this year. Taunting HBO executives and demanding approximately $6.5 million in Bitcoin as a ransom, the hacker released unaired show episodes and actor contract details as the company tried and failed to limit the fallout.
It turns out, however, that HBO might have the last laugh. But only maybe. That’s because the individual named, Behzad Mesri, is an Iran-based hacker who has allegedly worked on behalf of the Iranian government to break into computer systems around the world.
“At certain times, MESRI was a member of an Iran-based hacking group called the Turk Black Hat Security team,” reads a copy of the complaintuploaded by The Daily Beast. “As a member of that group, MESRI conducted hundreds of website defacements using the online hacker pseudonym ‘Skote Vahshat’ against websites in the United States and elsewhere around the world.”
According to the document, Mesri’s attempt to break into HBO network began around May and lasted through approximately August of 2017. During that time, he allegedly emailed employees of the company both to mock them and threaten them with the release of personal information.
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