Modern Warfare 2 Pirate Thwarted by Investigators

A report in VentureBeat tells a tale of software piracy in our own backyard, and its serious consequences.

Eighteen-year-old Christian Del Amo was arrested by Miami-Dade police officers yesterday after allegedly attempting to sell pirated copies of Modern Warfare 2.

On October 30, Activision Blizzard hired online investigation firm IPCybercrime to look into suspicious posts on Craigslist advertising Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 bundles for sale, roughly a week and a half before their release date.

Posts in the piracy forums on xbox360iso.com seemed to indicate that Del Amo had obtained a copy of the game and cracked the copy protection this past weekend. The fact that pirated digital release copies of Modern Warfare 2 hit the torrent sites the next day doesn't seem like mere coincidence.

Investigators used social networking sites, user posts in online piracy forums, and several sting operations to identify those involved in the pirating operation, which ultimately lead to Del Amo's arrest yesterday.

Prior to this run-in, Del Amo had a site for selling modified Xbox 360 hard drives loaded with pirated software. For just $150, he'd sell you a 250GB Western Digital hard drive containing 125 pirated games.

"We plug leaks every day," said Rob Holmes, owner of IPCybercrime, "but this was one of the biggest ones of the year."