Surprise, surprise: the government doesn't take kindly to being hacked. The United States Department of Justice announced today that four members of an international hacking group have been indicted for stealing over $100 million of software and intellectual property, and two of the accused have already pleaded guilty. Using a mix of SQL injection and stolen passwords, the group reportedly hacked into internal networks owned by Microsoft, Epic Games, Valve, Zombie Studios and the U.S. Army. Their target? Video games and specialized pilot training software.
In addition to collecting data on company employees and internal dealings, the group is said to have stolen source code and technical specifications for the Xbox One, pre-release versions of both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3, as well as an Apache helicopter simulator designed for the Army by Zombie Studios. The DoJ says the group is accused of conspiring to sell the proprietary information. "The American economy is driven by innovation," explained Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell. "But American innovation is only valuable if it can be protected."
Hacking happens all the time, but the DoJ says this case is a little unique-- marking what may be the first conviction of a foreign hacker for stealing business trade secrets. Even so, the defendant isn't that far away: David Pokora, who is pleading guilty, hails from Mississauga, Ontario in Canada. He hasn't specifically been convicted yet, either -- but a guilty plea pretty much secures that, doesn't it?