UPDATE 2-U.S. charges four with stealing $100 mln in software, data

Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:17pm EDT
 
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(Adds details of indictment, related case in Australia, background)

By Aruna Viswanatha

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Four members of an alleged international computer hacking ring were charged with stealing more than $100 million worth of software and data - some of it used to train military pilots and some related to Microsoft Corp's Xbox gaming console - the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

Two of the four - a 28-year-old New Jersey man and a 22-year-old Canadian man - pleaded guilty to charges contained in an indictment unsealed earlier in the day, the agency said.

Prosecutors said the ring gained unauthorized access to the computer networks of Microsoft and some of its partners between January 2011 and March 2014 to steal source code, technical specifications and other information.

Some of the intrusions were directed at the Xbox One gaming console before its November 2013 release. The hackers tried to build a counterfeit version of the console, according to the indictment.

The hackers also stole information about pre-release versions of the "Gears of War 3" and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" video games, prosecutors said.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft declined to comment on the case.

The men were also accused of logging into a U.S. Army network to steal simulator software for the Boeing Apache attack helicopter, the Justice Department said.   Continued...