Hackers charged for theft of intellectual property from several corporations

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Hackers caught

We tend to shy away from posting hacker related stories here on Lazygamer because we feel that giving them the extra attention just isn’t necessary. This post is an exception though, as four hackers have been charged with theft of intellectual property from corporations such as Microsoft, Epic Games, Valve, and even the U.S. Army.

Here are the specifics taken from a press release issued by the US Department of Justice (Joystiq via NPR):

The data cyber-theft allegedly included 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.

Stealing from gaming corporations is wrong. Stealing from the U.S Army on the other hand is just plain stupid and asking for trouble. Don’t get me wrong, the stealing of intellectual property in general from anybody is silly, but you really have to be looking for attention if you go out of your way to backdoor some Apache Helicoptor training software from the U.S Army.

How old do you think these hackers are? Take your wildest guess then read the following – who they are and what the charges are:

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, were charged in an 18-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Delaware on April 23, 2014, and unsealed earlier today.

The charges in the indictment include conspiracies to commit computer fraud, copyright infringement, wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft and theft of trade secrets.  The defendants are also charged with individual counts of aggravated identity theft, unauthorized computer access, copyright infringement and wire fraud.

While age wouldn’t really make much of a difference, it makes me incredibly sad knowing that all of them are so young. The property they stole is estimated to be between $100-200 million, so I’d imagine they were swayed over by potential riches.

No matter, I’m glad they were caught. I’d like to think this will serve as a warning to hackers out there, but sadly, there are still a ton getting away with DDoS attacks for example.

(Header Source)

Last Updated: October 1, 2014

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