FBI charges three men for stealing Xbox info from Microsoft

The FBI has charged three men with entering into the computer systems of Microsoft and other companies in order to obtain early copies of Xbox 360 and PC games. One of the three men in this case is also linked to an Australian teenager who previously leaked information about Microsoft's Xbox One to the public before it was officially announced.

The Smoking Gun reports that the three men that were charged are Nathan Leroux, 19 of Wisconsin; Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28 of New Jersey; and David Pokora of Canada. A federal grand jury has previously indicted the three men in July in a sealed decision but Leroux and Nesheiwat were finally arrested in their homes last week. The current status of Pokora is unknown.

All three men were charged with 15 felonies, including fraud, conspiracy and computer hacking. The FBI claims the men entered into computer systems owned by Microsoft and others from 2011 to 2013 via stolen login information. One of the other companies they attacked was the video game developer Zombie Studios, which was also working on a contract to make a helicopter simulator for the U.S. Army. This connection allowed the hackers to get in a Army server as well, according to the FBI.

The report also alleges that the three men got access to hardware information about Microsoft's Xbox One console well before it was announced and used it to create a fake Xbox One that sold on eBay. In addition, the report claims Pokora sought help in decrypting some of Microsoft's files from an Australian teenager that is only identified as "D.W", That person is apparently Dylan Wheeler, who, using the handle "SuperDaE", leaked information about the Xbox One to media outlets like Kotaku months before the console was announced. In February 2013, Wheeler's home was raided by police and he was charged with a number of crimes.

Source: The Smoking Gun via WinBeta | Image via Microsoft

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The thing i find even more stupid is the fact they look at the reward more then to the risk. I value my life way more then them it seems. even just a few years behind bars and loosing everything in my life is not worth doing this i wonder what people think sometimes. They had a good job why risk eveyrthing ?

I've always been curious as to how sony's specs kept changing as xbox specs kept leaking. going from 4GB or ram to 8 for instance. one wonders if these guys basically kept sony informed of the MSFT roadmap allowing sony to ensure the PS4 never fell behind and was just a bit better all the time almost as if sony knew all along what redmond would ship....hmm...maybe we'll get the full story if they start talking in a plea deal.

I somehow doubt that happened. I'd be more willing to believe developer feedback coupled with rumor leaked to Kotaku would have been enough to warrant the change.

At least, that would make sense to me, as Sony was very adamant about cutting them at every turn between design, build, price, and delivery. There's no need to get into corporate espionage just to get this information though; that part is a bit absurd from a very basic risk assessment.

dead.cell said,
There's no need to get into corporate espionage just to get this information though; that part is a bit absurd from a very basic risk assessment.

We're talking about forces going for a big chunk of what is nearly a $100 Billion industry. People have, literally, killed for less.

Think of it this way. $200,000/year is a really good salary in the U.S. If you worked for 1000 years, you would have earned $200 million. $100 Billion would take 500,000 years.

It's quite a large chunk of change, and it wouldn't take a concerted effort from Sony itself. Only one high level manager.

I think its definitely plausible from a risk/reward assessment POV. I am not trying to downplay the huge risk. The value of the reward is just that high.

I just don't buy it on the fact that it's not much of a stretch to consider that 4GB may not have been enough to work with. Also, it'd be an incredibly awful buy for "insider information" that's being leaked all over the place.

It's like buying a newspaper when you have the internet... :p

Pretty much wrong, superdae was just going to leak all xbox stuff he got from ms (and successfully did), only it was encrypted and he'd only release the encryption key if he got arrested. If sony was involved, it wouldn't have had the markings of a complete child.