back to article Half Life hacker refused FBI sting bait

Games developer Valve worked with the FBI to set up a sting operation to capture a suspected hacker soon after source code for Half Life 2 leaked onto P2P networks in 2003. The source code of the then-unreleased shoot-em-up game began circulating in September 2003. The breach that lead to the leak was traced back to an attack …


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  1. Anonymous Coward



    This is the USA! They'll just go in and kidnap him. Remember, the USA is right, you will obey the USA.

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Sacrificial lamb...

    I always thought and still think that Valve either intentionally exposed its network, tempting someone to attack, or staged the attack themselves to get an excuse to push their Steam DRMs onto users. The guy is probably a naive scapegoat.

  3. Andrew
    Thumb Down


    I'd always assumed that extradition was for serious crimes.

    Like you know, war crimes. Crimes against humanity. Maybe even regular old murder, if the case is compelling that the host country won't give a fair or balanced trial.

    It's a sad thing that it is now used to chase "Crimes against US businesses," especially considering how international-law-proof US citizens (civilian and military) now are.

    Now I know this is just a "They might go down this road" speculation, but the case of the deluded UFO-seeking idiot Gary McKinnon seems even more extreme than this.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That makes for some really interesting reading.

  5. Michael Baldry
    Thumb Down

    myg0t involvement

    god, myg0t are a bunch of newbies. I used to write cheats for games and was in a rival cheat clan to myg0t, they used to try and get trojans and stuff on our members machines to try and steal our code. They suceeded once and changed the name of the cheat and claimed it was theirs... If they were involved it was way over their head. but then i guess using information stolen from others for their own glory isn't something new to them.

  6. Ed
    Thumb Down

    Re: Sacrificial lamb...

    In what way did it benefit Valve to have their source code leaked? I've never seen it connected to Steam. They've never said "we've got to use Steam because of the source code leak" or anything similar as far as I know. Steam existed some time before the leak.

    The attack vector was a relatively obscure flaw in an old version of Outlook, as far as I remember, and the attacker had access to the network for a number of months before they were found.

    I think suggesting Valve wanted to lose their code is plain stupid. Not only did it give everyone access to all their code, it made everyone aware that they'd been lying about how far along HL2 was.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Germany does not extradite german citizens to foreign states, with the possible exception of member states of the European Union or the International Court in Den Hague.

    Unlike the UK..., bad luck for the US.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    and not too bright

    If he actually talked to them and admitted committing and offense against their computer systems.

  9. RRRoamer

    Then why is there an extradition treaty between the US and Germany???

    If Germany won't extradite, why did they sign an extradition treaty? They might be more anal about the evidence presented with an arrest warrant, but saying the don't extradite is a stretch.

  10. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    Well, I remember quite clearly that Valve said they were a) extensively rewriting the code because of the leak (an excuse for the delayed release) and b) they now had to protect their intellectual property, bla bla bla, hence the Steam.

    And come to think of it - what damage did the leak of an obsolete piece of unfinished code caused to Valve? None whatsoever.

  11. Thomas Baker

    I sense another suicide on the horizon.

    Headline reads: "Alleged hacker found dead in apartment with seven hundred and four bullet holes in him - coroner returns a verdict of suicide."

    But in German, obviously.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Vladimir Plouznikhov

    The world needs loads more subjective conspiracy theories because they always turn out to be right. Otherwise we'd be labouring under the misapprehension that we just lived in a fairly random world where economies failed, governments didn't get re-elected and no one could possibly be in control.

  13. Chris C

    re: Extradite??

    ", bad luck for the US."

    Umm, no. Bad luck for Valve, perhaps, if you want to view it that way. GOOD luck for US citizens (the taxpayers who have to pay to keep people in jail). Then again, we need to rethink the whole "jail" concept anyway, as it's no longer about rehabilitation.

  14. mike panero

    What kind of knob

    cheats at a game of skill?

  15. Jos
    Black Helicopters


    I could happen...


  16. nsr
    Thumb Down


    There might be an extradition treaty between US and Germany, but that will only cover non-citizens, for example US citizens trying to evade US courts by staying in Germany. Germany's costitution doesn't allow to extradite german citizens. A extradition treaty cannot overrule the constitution. Period.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up



  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    This chap must be one of those really really bright crackers that brags about his efforts. Mind you, no point in cracking if you don't have any of your chums to brag too is there!

    For all the encryption, proxies and what not, their one weakness still remains discoverable with social engineering. One day they might suss that and decide it's easier getting a real job where you don't have to run and hide.

  19. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    RE: Thanks Vladimir Plouznikhov

    You're welcome.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Shouldn't the PDF be redacted somewhat more intensely to protect those that did most of the to-ing and fro-ing??

    Ahem - Personal Data anyone..?

    Mine's the one with the Legislation for Data Protection in the pocket.

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