WILMINGTON, DEL.—A Canadian member of a hacking ring is believed to be the first foreign hacker ever convicted of stealing trade secrets in the United States after he was sentenced in Delaware to 18 months in prison.
David Pokora of Mississauga, pleaded guilty in September 2014 to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement.
Prosecutors said he was part of a small group of gaming enthusiasts that called itself the Xbox Underground that gained access to a U.S. Army computer network and targeted the gaming world, including stealing information from Microsoft and others.
That information allowed the group to build its own Xbox One game system before it was released and to secure pre-release versions of video games, including “Gears of War 3” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”
According to prosecutors, the group stole more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data.
Pokora, 22, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity using a computer. Three Americans in the group have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward McAndrew told The News Journal in Delaware that Pokora’s sentence “is a message that will be heard around the world.”
The FBI says the ring stole more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data. The cyber theft included software and data related to the Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system, popular games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3, and proprietary software used to train military helicopter pilots.
“These were extremely sophisticated hackers. Don’t be fooled by their ages,” McAndrew told reporters earlier this year.
U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly, of the District of Delaware, said the electronic breaking and entering of computer networks and the digital looting of identities and intellectual property have become much too common.
“These are not harmless crimes, and those who commit them should not believe they are safely beyond our reach,” he said.
Peel Regional Police was part of the investigation, which also involved the FBI, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Patrol, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Source: The Star