A third member of the international hacking ring responsible for stealing between $100 and $200 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data from Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platform and others has pleaded guilty.
Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Md. admitted to conspiracy to commit computer intrusions and criminal copyright infringement. Leroux has been in custody since attempting to flee into Canada from Buffalo, N.Y., on June 16, 2014. A sentencing hearing is set before U.S. District Judge Judge Gregory M. Sleet of the District of Delaware on May 14.
He and his compadres are accused of stealing software and data related to the Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system, which allegedly included source code, technical specifications and related information for Microsoft’s then-unreleased Xbox One gaming console; and intellectual property and proprietary data related to Xbox Live (Microsoft’s online multi-player gaming and media-delivery system). The idea was to build and sell a counterfeit version of the console before its release.
The ring is also accused of stealing a pre-release version of Epic’s video game, Gears of War 3; and a pre-release version of Activision’s uber-popular video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. And, Leroux also admitted that he developed a software exploit that generated millions in in-game, virtual currency for Electronic Arts’ FIFA line of soccer games, which he then sold in bulk quantities on the black market.
The hacks took place between January 2011 and September 2012, according to the Feds.
In addition to Leroux, Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, NJ; David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Ind., were all charged in the 18-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Delaware on April 23, 2014 and unsealed in September.
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