Hackers Charged With Stealing Call of Duty, Xbox and U.S. Army Software

by on 10/01/2014

Five men have been charged with stealing between $100 and $200 million in intellectual property from a number of tech companies and the military, including the pre-release copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
According to The Guardian and a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, the DOJ claims the hackers broke into systems and took “source code, technical specifications and related information for Microsoft’s then-unreleased Xbox One gaming console; intellectual property and proprietary data related to Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online multi-player gaming and media-delivery system; Apache helicopter simulator software developed by Zombie Studios for the US Army; a pre-release version of Epic’s video game, Gears of War 3; and a pre-release version of Activision’s video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The defendants also allegedly conspired to use, share and sell the stolen information.”
The alleged U.S. hackers were identified as Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland; Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey; David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Indiana. Nesheiwat and Pokora have already pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement and face up to five years in prison.
Dylan Wheeler, 19, from Perth, Australia, has also been charged, according to Australian media. If you’re wondering how taking some software can be worth $100 and $200 million in damages, Wheeler does too, calling the figure “meaningless.” The DOJ did seize $620,000 it alleges was gained during the criminal activity, but Wheeler says that was from an act of theft by one of the group and the rest of the hackers did not profit from the undertaking.
“Apart from that, the group made nothing,” he said. “It was just curiosity.”

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