[ISN] Valve announces Half-Life 2 code theft arrests

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 03:19:44 PDT

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    By Tor Thorsen
    June 10, 2004 
    Developer of the much-anticipated and delayed shooter sequel reveals 
    that an international wave of arrests have been made. 
    The Half-Life 2 code theft saga entered a new chapter today when Valve 
    Software announced that a series of arrests had been made in the case. 
    According to Valve, suspects in several countries had been taken into 
    custody in relation to charges stemming from the theft of the 
    Half-Life 2 code, the distribution of the code, and the break-in into 
    Valve's network. 
    Valve CEO Gabe Newell credited gamers with providing the information 
    that led to the arrests. "It was extraordinary to watch how quickly 
    and how cleverly gamers were able to unravel what are traditionally 
    unsolvable problems for law enforcement related to this kind of 
    cyber-crime," he said in a statement. "Everyone here at Valve is once 
    again reminded of how much we owe to the gaming community." 
    However, while Valve announced the arrests today, it was unclear when 
    they actually occurred. Valve's statement on the matter--e-mailed to 
    the press today--quoted Newell as saying, "Within a few days of the 
    announcement of the break-in, the online gaming community had tracked 
    down those involved." 
    The FBI's Northwest Cyber Crime Task Force, the law-enforcement agency 
    overseeing the code theft investigation, also divulged little 
    information. When asked by GameSpot if it had made any arrests, the 
    media contact at the task force's Seattle, Washington, headquarters 
    said simply, "We did." However, when pressed for more information on 
    the case--such as how many people in the US were arrested, where were 
    they apprehended--the agent declined to say anything other than that 
    arrests had been made. "Beyond that we cannot comment," he said. 
    News of the Half-Life 2 arrests comes after months of rumors about 
    law-enforcement activity on the case. In January, a number of computer 
    experts in the San Francisco area reported having their hardware 
    seized by FBI agents on the grounds that they were involved in the 
    theft. Several weeks ago, unconfirmed reports from Germany said the 
    author of the Phatbot Trojan worm was also involved in the theft. In 
    both instances, neither Valve nor the authorities offered any comment. 
    GameSpot will have more details on this developing story as they 
    become available. 
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