Teen Hacker Steals $100 Million in Trade Secrets


As the mother of boys and an IP attorney, this story hit me in more ways than one.  Four young men who were part of a computer hacking ring plead guilty to breaking into computer networks of technology companies and the U.S. Army and stealing more than $100 million in intellectual property and other data.  One of the young men was 18 years old.

Allegations of the cyber theft included software and data related to the Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system; popular games such as “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” and “Gears of War 3”;  as well as software used to train military helicopter pilots.

The Assistant Attorney assigned to the case stated “the American economy is driven by innovation.  But American innovation is only valuable when it can be protected.  Today’s guilty pleas show that we will protect America’s intellectual property from hackers, whether they hack from here or from abroad.”

The ages of the other young men are 20, 22 and 28.   The men were from the United States and Canada.   The estimated value of the intellectual property and data that the defendants stole is between $100 million and $200 million.  The United States has seized over $620,000 in cash and other proceeds related to the conduct.

So, don’t underestimate the value of your trade secrets or proprietary information.  Do what you can to protect it.  In addition, keep an eye on your kids! 

Protecting proprietary information is critical to any organization.  Having the right person to help you make those decisions is important.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at klynch@kliplaw.com.