“Outwar” outlaw hacker indicted over gaming attack

UD Dept. of Justice charges hacker brought down “Outwar” game, stole code and created his own system called “Outcraft”

The US Department of Justice today said one of the central figures in  a nasty computer gaming hack that cost the software maker, Rampid Interactive,  at least $100,000 in lost revenue,  has been indicted on charges of conspiring to commit computer intrusion and making extortionate interstate threats.

The case centers around Rampid's multi-player online role-playing game called "Outwar," and a conspiracy of hackers including Anil Kheda, 24, of the Netherlands who was indicted.  In court the DoJ said from November 2007 to August 2008, Kheda and other members of the conspiracy, all of whom were avid "Outwar" players, accessed Rampid's computer servers without authorization and rendered "Outwar" unplayable for days at a time. 

According to the indictment, "Kheda and his alleged co-conspirators also used their unauthorized access to Rampid's servers to alter user accounts - causing the restoration of suspended player accounts and the accrual of unearned game points - and obtain a copy of all or portions of the "Outwar" computer source code, which they used to help create a competing online game, "Outcraft."  The indictment also alleges that Kheda and his alleged co-conspirators sent Rampid interstate communications threatening to continue to hack into Rampid's computer systems unless Rampid agreed to pay them money or provide them with other benefits."

According to the indictment, as a result of the defendants' hacking activities, Rampid was unable to operate "Outwar" for a total of approximately two weeks over a nine-month period and incurred over $100,000 in lost revenues, wages, hosting costs, long term loss of business, as well as the loss of exclusive use of their proprietary source code, which it had invested approximately $1.5 million in creating.

According to court documents, Kheda made about $10,000 in profits from operating "Outcraft," which has approximately 10,000 players worldwide.

If convicted, Kheda faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and two years in prison on the interstate threats charge.

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