4 Busted for Stealing $100M in Data

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ 09:10 AM gHale

Four men are facing charges for stealing over $100 million in data and being the masterminds behind high-profile raids on the U.S. military and several gaming studios.

Nathan Leroux, 20, Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, David Pokora, 22, and Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Indiana, stand accused of stealing US Army software used to train Apache helicopter pilots. They also face charges of stealing intellectual property from game developers behind such titles as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3.

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Each defendant faces charges for conspiracy to commit computer fraud, copyright infringement, wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft and theft of trade secrets. An unnamed Australian citizen also ended up indicted for involvement in the raids.

Pokora and Nesheiwat pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement, and face up to five years in prison when a judge sentences them in January.

The defendants broke into their victims’ systems by stealing the usernames and passwords of company employees and their software development partners using an SQL injection attack, investigators said.

The Department of Defense (DoD) arrested the defendants following an international investigation.

The investigation involved the DoD, FBI, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Western Australian Police and Peel Regional Police of Ontario, Canada.

Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell listed the operation as proof the U.S. will prosecute cyber criminals regardless of their geographic location.

“The American economy is driven by innovation. But American innovation is only valuable when it can be protected. Today’s guilty pleas show that we will protect America’s intellectual property from hackers, whether they hack from here or from abroad,” he said.

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