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A suspect has been arrested for leaking the 'House of the Dragon' finale episode — and the alleged hacker made a rookie mistake

A suspect has been arrested for leaking the 'House of the Dragon' finale episode — and the alleged hacker made a rookie mistake
A House of Dragon billboard in Manhattan
An Israeli suspected of leaking the "House of the Dragon" finale was arrested this week.Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Two days before the "House of the Dragon" finale aired last fall, the episode was leaked online.

  • An Israeli was arrested in the case, and the alleged hacker's cat helped tip off police, per The Jerusalem Post.

  • The leak was the first to plague the spin-off, following many for "Game of Thrones."

The mysterious case of the leaked "House of the Dragon" finale is one step closer to being solved — and the alleged hacker's cat helped tipped off authorities.

Last October, two days before the "Game of Thrones" spin-off's series finale was set to air, the episode was leaked to pirating sites.

An Israeli resident living in Givatayim, a city east of Tel Aviv, was arrested on Monday, after being suspected of hacking into HBO's satellite servers in order to obtain the episode before distributing the material online, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Around the time of the leak, HBO issued a statement saying that the network was aware of the episode being "posted on illegal torrent sites" and that the leak stemmed "from one of the company's own distribution partners in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa."

Detectives from Israel's Cyber Unit of the Central District of Police were able to find the identity of the hacker by analyzing social media and the leaked file, The Jerusalem Post reported. The account was linked to the word "bird," which is the name of the alleged hacker's cat, per the Post.

Israel's Cyber Unit and HBO did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Leaks are nothing new for HBO. The first four episodes of the final season of "Game of Thrones" were all leaked in some form or another prior to airing, and season seven dealt with similar issues.

Despite the leak, "House of the Dragon" was quite succesfull with 9.3 million viewers tuning into the series finale legally. That made it HBO's most-watched finale since the "Game of Thrones" finale in 2019, per Variety. The show's first episode in August 2022 netted 10 million viewers, making it the network's biggest premiere ever.

The "Game of Thrones" universe is just getting started, with another prequel series, "Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," greenlit in April. If that knight is strong enough to fend of leaks is still to be determined.

Read the original article on Business Insider