The Department of Justice today announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging four men with hacking several game developers, including Microsoft, and the United States Army, and stealing intellectual property worth $100 million. Included in the property stolen was info on training tech for the Apache attack helicopter, and source codes for the video games Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Gears of War 3.
The four defendants, from Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana, and Canada, are facing 18 counts, including conspiracies to commit wire fraud, computer fraud, copyright infringement, mail fraud, identity theft, and theft of trade secrets, as well as individual counts of aggravated identity theft, unauthorized computer access, copyright infringement, and wire fraud.
The game developers affected were Epic Games, Valve, and Zombie Studios. The information stolen, which included source code, trade secrets, and financial data, was then sold to as yet unnamed third parties. Total damages are estimated to be over $200 million.
I understand the crimes committed, and the charges filed, but just for a second, stop and consider that at a basic level, the source codes for a Call of Duty game and U.S. military secrets are equivalent in value?
Now, this is just me, just throwing this out there and seeing what happens. Would there be an announcement of the unsealing of a federal indictment if the games involved were My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, or Barbie Jet, Set & Style?
Better yet, what if you developed something minor, like an app to store and catalog your expansive collection of "discreet" camel toe shots, and innocently get caught up? Would it necessarily hurt your feelings if they kinda left you out of the gory details? I mean, supposedly there's no such thing as bad publicity...
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