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Hackers charged with stealing Xbox, 'Call of Duty,' and US Army secrets worth over $100 million

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Pre-release version of 'Gears of War 3' and Apache simulation software stolen

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Four hackers have been jointly charged with conspiracies to commit computer fraud, copyright infringement, wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, and theft of trade secrets. Individually, they have been charged with counts of aggravated identity theft, unauthorized computer access, copyright infringement, and wire fraud.

pre-release versions of Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

The defendants, aged between 18 and 28, are believed to have stolen more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data from the likes of Microsoft Corporation, Epic Games, Valve, and even the US Army. This includes pre-release versions of Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Apache helicopter simulation software developed for the US army, and information about the Xbox One console. Two of the suspects have pleaded guilty, one of which is 22-year old David Pokora. His plea represents what may be the first conviction of a foreign-based individual for hacking into US businesses to steal trade secret information.

According to an 18-count superseding indictment and other records, some of the methods utilized to infiltrate the victims' networks include SQL injections, and the use of personal logins belonging to company employees and their software development partners. The United States has reportedly seized over $620,000 in cash and other proceeds. The case is still being investigated.