Arrested hacker pleads guilty to $100 million theft of Microsoft, Valve, U.S. Army data

Fourth member of International hacking group pleads guilty for stealing the intellectual property worth $100 million from Microsoft, Valve and U.S. Army.

Final member of the international teen hacking group has been arrested and has plead guilty for being involved in copyright infringement and computer hacking conspiracies of Microsoft, Valve and U.S. Army worth $100 million.

In the month of October 2014, a group of  four teenagers were charged with stealing the intellectual property worth $100 million from Microsoft, Epic games, Valve software, Zombie Studios and also had gained access to the proprietary software that is used by the U.S. army to train their helicopter pilots, further this group even tried to sell the hacked confidential data.

Of the four members of this international hacking group three were already arrested which included 2 Americans and 1 Canadian and now the fourth member Austin Alcala has been arrested. Alcala is a 19 year old teenager who was living with his parents in Indiana. All the four members of this XU group have now pleaded guilty and accepted that they were involved in the copyright infringement and the computer hacking conspiracies.

As per the U.S. Department of Justice this entire hacker group had “stolen software and data related to the [then unreleased] Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system and popular games such as the FIFA online soccer series; Call of Duty; Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3.” U.S. Government however has dropped the wire fraudulent and the identity theft charges in exchange to the guilty plea of this hacker group.

The XU international hacking group comprised of four members in the range of 19 to 28 years, Austin Alcala being the youngest, were active from the period of January 2011 till March 2014. As per the criminal complaint record released by prosecutors, these hackers gained unauthorized entry to the target computers by using the SQL injections and got an access to the confidential data such as passwords and credit card details. Alcala in his guilty plea accepted that he was the one to steal the login credentials intellectual property from the Microsoft and Zombie studios.

Though Alcala is only 19 year old he is smart enough and has his own online site known as “AAmoney online”, this guy has a reputation for himself in  the hacker’s world and is well know scammer in the Xbox hacking. When inquired with his high school classmates, Holtz Ludlam, now 18 and a student of University of Miami, Florida  recalled some of his pranks during his high school days. Ludlam says: “We’d be sitting in class, and he would make our computers say things. It was all kind of a joke to us.” Another classmate Kiley Brewster, 19, added that Alcala’s hacking skills were well-known.

Brewster who is the Ball State University freshman now, said: “He got in trouble for it all the time. Nobody knew how he did it.” Alcala’s high school companions knew about his hacking abilities as he never left any opportunity to show off his hacking tricks during the school days.

Sad to see that teenagers are using their intelligence in the wrong direction of hacking and stealing intellect properties from U.S. army.

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Maya Kamath
Maya Kamath
Content writer with unending love to pen down my thoughts and views regarding the new technological inventions as well as probe into the current affairs. Feel as if i am free bird who can actually live life at my pace.


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