Four Charged in Series of Hacking Incidents Involving Video Game Software


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Four Charged in Series of Hacking Incidents Involving Video Game Software

October 1, 2014

By: Matt Duke


For individuals were charged after an April, 2014 18-count superseding indictment was unsealed yesterday.

The hackers, 20 year-old Nathan Leroux of Bowie, Maryland; 28 year-old Sanadodeh Nesheiwat of Washington, New Jersey, 22 year-old David Pokora of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and 18 year-old Austin Alcala of McCordsville, Indiana, allegedly broke into computer networks belonging to Microsoft, Valve, Epic Games, Zombie Studios, and the U.S. Army between January 2011 and March 2014. Pokora, who was arrested March 28, 2014, while attempting to enter the United States, and Nesheiwat have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement. A fifth Australian citizen has been charged in Australian for his alleged involvement. Although unnamed, IGN reports that the individual is thought to be 19 year-old Dylan Wheeler, whose home was raided in 2012 after he listed a Xbox Durango Development Kit on eBay.

Among the data allegedly stolen were technical specifications and other information related to Microsoft's Xbox One console, data related to Xbox Live, a pre-release copies of Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Perhaps most brazenly, the group allegedly stole software developed by Zombie Studios for use by the U.S. Army in the training of Apache helicopter pilots.

All told, the estimated value of the stolen data and costs the affected companies incurred as a result of the alleged breaches could be as high as $200 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.



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Matt Duke has enjoyed video games for over twenty-five years, and strongly maintains that Super Mario Bros. 3 was the greatest video game ever created. He is currently working toward a platinum trophies in Plants Vs. Zombies and The Last of Us: Remastered. A classic under-achiever, when not playing video games, he enjoys writing about himself in third-person.