Stolen code, 9-month hacking spree lead to criminal charges | Ars Technica

Federal officials have accused a Dutch man of hacking into a New Hampshire-based game company, tampering with sensitive user data, and using the stolen source code to start a competing online game.

Anil Kheda, 24, of the Netherlands, began his hacking spree in November 2007 after one of his accounts was deleted from Outwar (an online role-playing game with 75,000 active players), according to documents filed in US District Court in New Hampshire. Prosecutors allege that two months later, he started a competing game called Outcraft using source code obtained from the hacked servers. The game earned Kheda at least $10,000 in profits. Over the next nine months, he allegedly continued the hacks and agreed to stop only if the hacked company—Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Rampid Interactive—paid him money and provided other benefits.

According to prosecutors, Kheda claimed to have found vulnerabilities in Rampid’s network and the Outwar source code that allowed him to gain administrator access to the underlying functions of the game. His ability to repeatedly delete a user database seemed to indicate his claims were at least partially true. The tampering caused Outwar to go down for a total of about two weeks over the nine-month stretch, causing Rampid to incur more than $100,000 in lost revenue, wages, and other costs, according to prosecutors.

via Stolen code, 9-month hacking spree lead to criminal charges | Ars Technica.

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2 thoughts on “Stolen code, 9-month hacking spree lead to criminal charges | Ars Technica

  1. This is a pretty serious offense this hacker carried out. I mean he didn’t hack into any government network but hacking altogether is pretty serious. If the hacking portion wasn’t bad enough the blackmail didn’t help his case either. Not only is this morally and ethically wrong he also caused a profit lost for the company Rampid. The company lost profits, workers lost wages, and maybe the company even lost some subscribers due to the online game being down. Another aspect is that Kheda copied some of the source code to make his own game. In addition to the prison sentence Kheda should have to pay back all the profit he made from the benefit of the source code he used. All that money should be given back to Rampid in an effort to give back some of the lost profits. Another thing he should have to do is look at the source code and show all the vulnerabilities of the Rampid’s game in order for them to fix it.

  2. First off, I think its pretty astonishing that someone as technically savvy as Kheda would use e-mail to try and carry out this black mail, knowing that it could be traced back to him. Having said that, the charges shouldn’t stop with him going to prison. He should have to pay back the revenue the company lost from having to shut down, court fees, and the money he made on his own game back to Outwar. Finally, with 75,000 subscribers to this game, you would expect Outwar to have installed better security practices to protect their “property” from being taken and used to start a rival game. For however stupid and illegal Kheda’s actions were, Outwar should have never been in the position to allow this to happen.

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