Stolen data estimated to be worth $100-$200 million USD.
BY: JENNA PITCHER
SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
Four individuals have been charged with hacking Microsoft, the U.S. Army, Epic Games, Valve and Zombie Studios, and acquiring more than $100m in intellectual property, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Delaware in April and unsealed on Tuesday, the group allegedly stole Xbox One and Xbox Live intellectual property and proprietary data. The group also illegally obtained pre-release games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3, along with U.S. Army Apache helicopter training software from developer Zombie Studios.
“As the indictment charges, the members of this international hacking ring stole trade secret data used in high-tech American products, ranging from software that trains U.S. soldiers to fly Apache helicopters to Xbox games that entertain millions around the world,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell in prepared statement. “The American economy is driven by innovation. But American innovation is only valuable when it can be protected. Today’s guilty pleas show that we will protect America’s intellectual property from hackers, whether they hack from here or from abroad.”
The DoJ estimates that the stolen data was worth $100-$200 million USD. The DoJ also claims that the U.S. has seized $620,000 in cash and proceeds “related to the charged conduct.”
Nathan Leroux, Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, David Pokora and Austin Alcala are named in the indictment. They are jointly charged with conspiracies to commit computer fraud, copyright infringement, identity theft, wire fraud, theft of trade secrets and mail fraud. They also each face charges of individual counts of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, copyright infringement and unauthorised computer access.
Two of the alleged hackers pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement. The pair are facing up to five years incarceration when sentenced in January.
Along with the four charged in the U.S., an unnamed Australian also faces charges in Australia “for his alleged role in the conspiracy.” The citizen is thought to be Dylan Wheeler who allegedly illegally obtained an Xbox One development kit in 2012 before the console's unveiling. He's on bail until the trial for charges for the allegations.
Source: The U.S. Department of Justice
Sourced via IGN