Dutchman facing federal charges over NH-based online game hacking, extortion
Nov 16, 2012 (The Telegraph - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A Dutchman has been indicted on charges that he hacked a New Hampshire-based Internet game and extorted the game's owners.
A federal grand jury in Concord indicted Anil Kheda, 24, of the Netherlands, on Thursday on charges of conspiring to commit computer intrusion and making extortionate interstate threats. Kheda, along with an unnamed suspect who wasn't indicted, hacked the computers of Rampid Interactive, stole the company's computer code to create a competitor game and essentially held the gaming community hostage to his threats, said U.S. Attorney John Kacavas.
Kheda, who used a number of online monikers, including Riotist, SnoopDoggOW, Master and Master Anil, is accused of accessing the servers the Portsmouth company used to host an online role-playing game called "Outwar" from November 2007 to August 2008 and rendered the game unplayable for days at a time for its 75,000 worldwide players. Kheda and his cooperators were able to reinstate players who had been banned and alter user accounts to give themselves unearned game points, Kacavas said.
Another person police haven't arrested is a United Kingdom juvenile with the initials W.G. and who uses the names xPimpster1337 and Pimpster, according to the indictment.
The pair also stole a copy of all or part of the game's source code and used it to create "Outcraft," another online game that has about 10,000 players, Kacavas said.
Kheda also communicated with Rampid employees via telephone, online chats and email, and threatened to continue hacking into the computers unless the company agreed to pay him and provide other benefits, Kacavas said.
Rampid was unable to operate the game for a total of about two weeks over a nine-month period and lost more than $100,000 in revenue, wages, hosting costs and long-term loss of business. The company also lost its proprietary code, in which it had invested about $1.5 million, Kacavas said.
Kheda earned about $10,000 operating the game he created using the New Hampshire company's code, Kacavas said.
Kheda faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and another two years in prison for the extortion charges, Kacavas said.
Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).
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