Hackers plead guilty in fake Xbox One scam

Xbox OneFive people have been charged with stealing code for Microsoft's recently-introduced Xbox One console, as well as some of the unit's flagship games, with the aim of making counterfeit versions of the device.

The five men are reported to be members of an international hacking ring and are also accused of stealing software used to train Apache helicopter pilots that was being developed by Zombie Studios, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Two of the men have already pleaded guilty in the case, which involves an estimated $100m-worth of software and included data related to the Xbox Live online gaming system and flagship gaming titles such as Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Epic Games' Gears of War 3.

Counterfeit versions of the console were sold on eBay for as much as $5,000 well before the Xbox One's actual launch, according to reports, and the US authorities have seized more than $620,000 in cash and other proceeds from the illicit activities.

Canadian David Pokora and Sanadodeh Nesheiwat of New Jersey pleaded guilty to the charges, while Nathan Leroux and Austin Alcala - based in Maryland and Indiana, respectively - have yet to enter pleas. The case against the fifth - an Australian citizen called Dylan Wheeler - is being conducted by the authorities in his home country.

"Electronic breaking and entering of computer networks and the digital looting of identities and intellectual property have become much too common," said US Attorney Charles Oberly.

"These are not harmless crimes, and those who commit them should not believe they are safely beyond our reach."

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