The feds today charged four men with hacking and stealing secrets worth more than $100 million from Microsoft and the U.S. Army.
The justice department said Microsoft, which produces the Xbox One gaming system, the U.S. Army, and leading game manufacturers had their systems hacked and intellectual property boosted by an international group of hackers who vacuumed $100 million worth of intellectual property from their servers.
In the case of the U.S. Army theft, hackers stole secrets related to training technology for the advanced Apache attack helicopter and source code for the games Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3, among other titles produced by outside developers, the feds said. The case began in April but the indictment was unsealed today.
According to release outlining the case, which you can read here:
“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.”
The feds said that from “January 2011 to March 2014, the four men and others located in the United States and abroad hacked into the computer networks of Microsoft Corporation, Epic Games Inc., Valve Corporation, Zombie Studios, and the U.S. Army. The defendants and others allegedly obtained access to the victims’ computer networks through methods including SQL injection and stolen usernames and passwords of company employees and their software development partners.” The hackers successfully penetrated the firewalls of their victims, and once inside, boosted source code, trade secrets, and financial data.
The feds said the above-mentioned hackers were in it for profit and sold the information to as yet unnamed third parties. The feds are still tallying the damage but said it could amount to over $200 million in losses.