Angry Gamer Steals Game Code, Demands Ransom
CREDIT: Rampid Interactive
Federal courts allege a Dutch hacker tampered with a game company's sensitive data and used proprietary code to create a competing game. The man had retaliated against the game maker after his gaming account was deleted from a popular role-playing game (RPG).
Prosecutors say that, in 2007, Anil Kheda, now 24, exploited a vulnerability in New Hampshire-based game developer Rampid's network to get control of the online role-playing game "Outwar." Kheda gained administrative privileges that allowed him to allegedly steal proprietary source code and repeatedly delete a user database.
Two months after Kheda's account was deleted in 2007, he created a competing game, "Outcraft." Dutch authorities accuse Kheda of creating the game with Rampid's stolen code, but that didn't stop the hacker from netting roughly $10,000.
Not only did Kheda turn a profit on the dispute, he allegedly caused Rampid to lose cash.
Prosecutors allege that Kheda’s mischief made "Outwar" unplayable for a total of two weeks over a nine-month period, costing Rampid more than $100,000 in lost revenue.
But according to Kheda, it didn't have to be this way. The indictment contains an email Kheda sent to Rampid in 2007 laying out their "options."
"You guys have the following three options," Kheda wrote "1. Let me play again on my master account (with everything that was on it), and I will report everything when I come across a vulnerability. 2. Pay me $1,500 and you will never hear from me again. 3. Don't reply to this email, and you are gonna wish you picked one of the other options."
Five years later, it appears Rampid went with No. 3.
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