Skip to main content

Four hackers charged with stealing $100m worth of U.S. Army and Xbox technology

november xbox one system update brings personalization twitter plus free game deal
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The United States Department of Justice has charged four hackers with computer fraud and copyright infringement for stealing over $100 million worth of intellectual property and proprietary data related to Xbox. The stolen data includes pre-release copies of games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Apache helicopter training software being developed for the U.S. Army (via The Guardian).

Two of the four hackers, David Pokora and Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, have pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement. The 18-count indictment also charges Nathan Leroux and Austin Alcala with participating in the conspiracy, along with an unnamed Australian national. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities claim that half a dozen other individuals may be involved.

The hackers, ranging in age from 18 to 28, are alleged to be part of a group called the Xbox Underground. The group gained access to the computer networks of various gaming companies, including the Seattle-based Zombie Studios, which had been contracted by the U.S. Army to develop flight simulation training software for Apache helicopters.

Once inside they stole copies of unreleased software, source code, trade secrets, and financial information about the various companies. Supposedly the group stole plans for the Xbox One and sold counterfeit copies prior to the console’s release.

The FBI began tracking the group in 2011 with the cooperation of the gaming companies when a confidential informant tipped them off. Pokora, the group’s alleged leader and a Canadian national, was taken into custody in March at the border crossing in Lewiston, New York. His plea is believed to the first actual conviction of a foreign individual for hacking into American businesses and stealing trade secrets, setting important precedents in a time of mounting paranoia that our companies, journalistic entities, and government agencies are under constant, digital assault from foreign agents.

Editors' Recommendations

Will Fulton
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Fulton is a New York-based writer and theater-maker. In 2011 he co-founded mythic theater company AntiMatter Collective…
No Rest for the Wicked is a cruel and beautiful action game
One of the king's advisors enters the frame in No Rest for the Wicked.

No Rest for the Wicked has a lot going for it. The upcoming action game already has me charmed me with its distinct sense of style. There's just one thing that's yet to win me over, and that's its sometimes cruel gameplay.

First teased by publisher Private Division at The Game Awards 2023, No Rest for the Wicked is wildly different from what the studio has made before. (The game spent six years in development at Ori and the Blind Forest developer Moon Studios, which has faced reports of misconduct.) This isometric action game influenced by The Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls sports a painterly art style that doesn’t look like any other game I’ve played before, and this small taste of its fantasy world offered up lore that was intriguing, but not overwhelming.

Read more
Indie poker hit Balatro gets delisted from storefronts after sudden rating change
A list of Jokers appear in Balatro.

Balatro, a poker roguelike that has become a surprise hit after being released last month, will get delisted in some regions after a sudden rating change that claimed the game encouraged gambling.

"This is not an issue with the stores themselves, however, a reaction to an overnight change to Balatro's age rating from 3+ to 18+ by a ratings board without any advance warning, due to a mistaken belief that the game 'contains prominent gambling imagery and material that instructs about gambling,'" publisher Playstack explained in a message on X. "Balatro does not allow or encourage gambling -- and we fundamentally believe the ratings decision is unfounded. Balatro was developed by someone who is staunchly anti-gambling, and painstaking care has been taken to ensure that the game does not feature gambling of any kind."

Read more
How to find quetzalcoatl talon in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Cloud about to fight a monster in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

There's a lot to take in during the opening hours of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Not only do you have an entire cast of characters to play as right away, but a fast hub world to explore. One thing you'll get very familiar with right away is collecting resources for crafting items. These things are littered all over the world, begging to be collected. However, there are rare parts out there, such as the Quetzalcoatl Talon, that you can only get from one specific source. If you're trying to finish the "Where the Wind Blows" side quest specifically, you'll need this fiend's claw to complete it, so let's hunt it down.
Where to find the Quetzalcoatl Talon

The Quetzalcoatl Talon will drop only from, you guessed it, a Quetzalcoatl. Finding this beast first requires you to do some of Chadly's legwork, specifically scanning four Lifestream Crystals in the region. Once that's done, he will chime in and inform you that he's located the beast in question and start the "Classified Intel: Winged Lacertillian of Yore" objective.

Read more