Some of you may recall back to 2003 when the source code to Half Life 2 was released to bittorrent. Well, Valve doesn't take this kind of thing lightly, especially when the hacker emails Valve to brag about his hackings.
How did they find who the guy really is? Simple! The FBI recorded chat logs from anonymous tipsters who were in the IRC Room where the hacks took place!
February 2004 rolls around and a guy emails Valve from DaGuy@hushmail.com and admits he was the hacker. The plot thickens. He admitted to hacking into the system but denied releasing the source code to the Internet. He even admitted he add access to the Valve system for six months and proved it true through a detailed explanation.
Valve contacted the Seattle FBI Office to attempt to coordinate an elaborate operation to get the German hacker into the United States so they can arrest him there. The FBI identified the hacker as Axel Gembe, of Schonau, Germany.
Valve contacted Gembe and first of all verified his name was Gembe. Gembe explained that he entered through an account that had no password, then got up to root access using remote CGI exploits and scanning software.
Valve invited Gembe to Seattle where he would meet in person with Valve for a face to face job interview. Valve even graciously agreed to pay for all expenses of getting there and staying there. In reality it was just a sly attempt to arrest Gembe. Oh Valve, you sneaky snakes.
Gembe is stupid enough to admit to the hackings, but he wasn't stupid enough to come to Seattle. But regardless he was arrested in Germany and simply put on probation.
Valve ultimately failed at their setup, but at least the guy got his just desserts!