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Report: PAX East Attendee Attempts to Steal Breach

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At PAX East 2010, a man reportedly attempted to steal the code for Breach, the new multiplayer shooter from Atomic Games, which I had a chance to play before the show.

A man had been seen hanging around the Breach booth on the show floor with a laptop. He was confronted by Atomic quality assurance members before running away and being caught.

David Tractenberg, a PR representative speaking on Atomic's behalf, told Joystiq that the man had copied around 14MB of the 2GB game to his laptop before being caught. "The suspect spent four hours in jail, and his laptops, modded Xbox 360, modded PSP, modded DS and XMP3 were confiscated by police," according to Joystiq.

The suspect told Joystiq that he was merely attempting to get Internet access by utilizing Atomic Games' ethernet connection and was suspected of stealing the code because he had the Xbox Neighborhood application running. He later admitted to attempting to steal the game to "play it with [his] friends," according to Tractenberg.

The suspect, Justin D. May (20), posted bail after being arrested, but failed to show up to court today for his arraignment. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Joystiq, which has May's Xbox Live Gamertag spotted him (or someone using his account) playing Modern Warfare 2 earlier today.

The charges that May faces are serious as he is accused of attempted theft of trade secrets (intellectual property) valued at around $6 million. This incident could potentially hurt publisher and developer participation in future Penny Arcade Expo's (or any other conventions open to the public).

Blizzard Entertainment does not allow laptops on the show floor at its own BlizzCon fan convention as it allows the public to play early versions of its upcoming games like StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3. Don't be surprised if you can't bring your laptop into PAX 2010 or PAX East 2011.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 30, 2010 6:05 PM

    Atomic is a government contractor, this douche should've been held on matters of national security.

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      March 30, 2010 8:09 PM

      Charged for threatening national security on a video Game? Please!

      • reply
        March 30, 2010 8:49 PM

        there is no way to know what else was on the laptop that he illegally accessed. Given that the company works on classified projects for DoD and the intelligence agencies I'd say Yes.. threatening national security over stealing a game from their hardware IS appropriate. I spoke to these guys myself while at PAX. They are serious dudes and do VERY serious work on top of their game development.

        look at the bigger picture, you see it as stealing a game, I see it as illegal access of a computer network which IS a federal crime.

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          March 30, 2010 8:55 PM

          also why you would try to steal from a company that employs actual specops operators is beyond stupid. This kid should be held under the patriot act and then maybe it will deter some idiot kid from trying it again at a similar venue

          • reply
            March 30, 2010 9:27 PM

            IF a government contractor was stupid enough to bring classified or sensitive material to an ENTERTAINMENT expo, their contract needs to be terminated.

            Secondly, the Patriot Act is the most.... wait, I'm not even going to start on that. :(

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              March 31, 2010 12:12 AM

              He did say they were special ops. Maybe he meant retarded?

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            March 31, 2010 12:41 AM

            ...and he should be tossed into Gitmo and waterboarded every morning!

            /s

            Honestly, could you be any more draconic!? He was stealing code from an un-released video game, not co-ordinating terrorist attacks on the USA. Following Dragonsire's comment, Atomic's contract with the US goverment should be immediately terminated if they were stupid enough to have any sort of data related to gov't contracts on computers at PAX.

            Furthermore, I don't understand why any exhibitor concerned with security of their IP wouldn't have their networks properly secured. I have to assume he was doing this with a wireless connection, since running a physical ethernet connection from his laptop to Atomic's network would be a little too conspicuous. If you're concerned about network security, you should be running any sort of wireless networking at a public event.

            • reply
              March 31, 2010 12:52 AM

              edit: Should NOT be running any sort of wireless networking at a public event.

              Shacknews needs a 21st century comment system that allows users to edit comments with some sort of time frame after posting.

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              March 31, 2010 5:38 AM

              their network was secured.. this putz pulled a Cat5 that was CLEARLY coming from under their display. This how how you are a bunch of entitled little children..
              How is their fault that a person illegally accessed their hardware? How are you passing judgement upon me when the laws are the laws and this asshat broke them.
              I was ACTUALLY at this event and got to see and met these guys firsthand. The game was being run on XBoxes. Hacker-mc-dipshit HAD to have intentionally gone after the laptop that was at their location. They were NOT running this on a wireless network ( that wireless was offerred by the Hynes Center itself.)

              I love how quick you guys were to reply to something that you are getting secondhand whereas I saw this firsthand myself.

              fucking trollosh children

              • reply
                March 31, 2010 3:48 PM

                I'd argue that physical security is a lot more important than software security.

                In other words, if anyone can walk up and grab a loose cord to gain access the network isn't fucking secure. Nobody is suggesting that this kid didn't break the law or that he shouldn't be punished, just that Atomic is also stupid for not preventing it from happening in the first place. I don't know why this enrages you so, because it's absolutely true.

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