CNN/Money One for credit card only hard offer form at $9.95 One for risk-free form at $14.95 w/ $9.95 upsell  
News > Technology
graphic
Cyber cops nab 'Half-Life 2' thieves
Task force arrests alleged hackers in multiple countries
June 10, 2004: 6:42 PM EDT
By Chris Morris, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) A cyber crime task force has arrested several people in a number of countries for hacking into the computer systems of Valve Software, stealing and ultimately releasing the source code for "Half Life 2," one of the gaming industry's most anticipated titles.

Many expect  
Many expect "Half-Life 2" to help reverse the sales slump in the PC gaming industry.

The number of people arrested, when the arrests took place and whether any official charges were filed remains unclear. News of the arrests came from Valve Thursday in a brief news release. Calls to Valve and the criminal task force involved in the arrests were not returned.

In its statement, however, Valve, which has long had a close relationship with its fan base, credited the gaming community for making the arrests possible.

"Within a few days of the announcement of the break-in, the online gaming community had tracked down those involved," said Valve CEO Gabe Newell in a statement. "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."

Somewhere around Sept. 11, 2003, computer hackers broke into the computers of Valve Software, possibly using a security hole in Microsoft's Outlook Express, installing keystroke recorders. Eight days later they made a copy of the game's source tree.

Seemingly angry about "Half-Life 2" missing its announced release date, the hackers released the source code to the Internet on Oct. 2. Five days later, they released a playable build of portions of the game.

The theft, combined with developmental hurdles, further delayed the game. To date, Valve has not announced a firm ship date for "Half-Life 2," though it does maintain the game will be out this summer.

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Hackers
Computer Security
Computing and Information Technology
Crime

The lack of an actual product hasn't prevented bootleg copies of the game from showing up on the black market, however. Pirate versions appeared on store shelves in Russia in January, which were said to be fully playable, albeit with plot inconsistencies.

The Northwest Cyber Crime Task Force, which includes agents from the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, oversaw the investigation. That same group has overseen the arrest of several suspected hackers, including an 18-year old German student who has been charged with creating the Sasser worm.  Top of page




  More on TECHNOLOGY
Honda teams up with GM on self-driving cars
The internet industry is suing California over its net neutrality law
Bumble to expand to India with the help of actress Priyanka Chopra
  TODAY'S TOP STORIES
7 things to know before the bell
SoftBank and Toyota want driverless cars to change the world
Aston Martin falls 5% in its London IPO




graphic graphic

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.