A Dutch citizen in New Hampshire was recently indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly hacking into and disabling servers belonging to Rampid Interactive, which hosts the online game Outwar. He is charged with one count of conspiring to commit computer intrusion and one count of making extortionate interstate threats, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“[He] began his hacking spree in November 2007 after one of his accounts was deleted from Outwar (an online role-playing game with 75,000 active players), according to documents filed in US District Court in New Hampshire,” writes Ars Technica’s Dan Goodin. “Prosecutors allege that two months later, he started a competing game called Outcraft using source code obtained from the hacked servers. The game earned Kheda at least $10,000 in profits.”
“[He] and the other players are also accused of copying Rampid’s computer network, including its users’ table and database, and then [deleting] users’ table on Outwar’s computers, making the game unplayable for days at a time,” writes The New Hampshire Union Leader’s Pat Grossmith. “They allegedly sent messages to Rampid employees, threatening to continue hacking into their computer systems unless Rampid agreed to pay them money.”
“The indictment contains excerpts from conversations and e-mails between the Dutch citizen, and employees of Rampid,” writes Seacoast Online’s Joey Cresta.
“Because of the hacking activities, Rampid was unable to operate Outwar for about two weeks over a nine-month period and incurred more than US $100,000 in lost revenues, wages, hosting costs, and a long-term loss of business, the DOJ said,” writes PC World’s Grant Gross. “The company also lost exclusive use of its proprietary source code, which Rampid created for a cost of about $1.5 million, the DOJ said.”
If convicted, the Dutch citizen faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and two years in prison on the interstate threats charge.