Prosecutors said Mesri had worked on behalf of Iran's military to attack military systems, nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure. He has not been taken into custody and the feds are trying to track him down.
US federal prosecutors allege that Mesri leaked some of the stolen data on the Internet. However, as Engadget points out, while this is a win for HBO legally, since the hacker does not reside in the United States, he has not yet been arrested. Whether or not the USA authorities will be able to arrest and charge the culprit remains to be seen though. They also said he was a member of the Iranian-based Turk Black Hat Security hacking group, targeting hundreds of websites in the United States and around the world.
Between July 23 and July 29, Mesri tried to extort HBO executives through emails, with a ransom note eventually demanding $6 million worth of Bitcoin, according to the indictment. Over a period of three months, he successfully compromised multiple user accounts and used these to obtain unauthorized access to HBO's computer servers, stealing "confidential and proprietary data" belonging to the channel.
'He will never be able to travel outside of Iran without fear of being arrested and brought here, ' Kim said.
The cyber attack surfaced over the summer as HBO was running a new season of "Game of Thrones" and as the cable network's parent Time Warner Inc sought regulatory approval to sell itself to AT&T Inc in an $85.4 billion deal announced in October 2016.
But the case has also revealed disagreements inside the Justice Department, where senior officials have been pushing in recent weeks to make public a number of ongoing investigations involving Iranian suspects.
At the time, HBO said of the extortion scheme, "That's a game we're not going to participate in".
Prosecutors are expected to release more information at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Several people familiar with the HBO hack case pointed out that the Justice Department will often wait a year - sometimes several years - before unsealing charges in an global computer hacking probe, while this case was unsealed after three months.