Australian 19 year-old who hacked Microsoft and US Army is fugitive

Pierluigi Paganini May 04, 2015

An Australian teenager who hacked Microsoft, Valve and the US Army has left the Australia. The Interpol is searching for him in Europe.

An Australian teenager, who had allegedly hacked into Microsoft and the US Army websites left Australia to escape the capture. The Australian authorities have informed the Interpol, which is involved in the research of the young hacker that is believed to be in Europe now. The 19-year-old is being under police investigation for hacking offences, the investigators speculate that he has stolen more than $ 100 million worth of software and data from Microsoft, the US Army and Valve.

“The 19 year-old — yet to face trial despite being charged two years ago —  has told The Weekend Australian he moved to Europe last month because court delays and harassment by West Australian police made it impossible for him to fund his legal defence. He said a recent police raid on his home where his business computers were seized was ­malicious and had forced him to seek work overseas. West Australian court offic­ials confirmed yesterday that an arrest warrant was issued last week for the teenager, who cannot be named because he was charged as a juvenile.” reported the The Weekend Australian.

According to the law enforcement, the Australian teenager acted with the support of at least another five hackers, the group is specialized in the trade of intellectual property and industry secrets. The Australian police in a joint international effort with other agencies is trying to follow the cyber gang which operated mainly from the USA.

“Members of this international hacking ring stole trade secret data used in hi-tech American products, ranging from software that trains US soldiers to fly Apache helicopters to Xbox games that entertain millions around the world,” has explained the assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell.

On April 2014, the FBI arrested four men who were accused of the theft of the helicopter simulator software from the U.S Army Computers. The men also hacked several Gaming firms, including Microsoft’s Xbox Valve Corporation, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard and Zombie Studios.

They have pleaded guilty and one of them was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Speaking from an unknown place overseas, the teenager told The Weekend Australian he had spent $10,000 defending himself without success. The man explained that his case even reaching trial, but most worrying aspect of the story according to him is that its electronic equipment was seized by the police last month and contained all the files related to his job.

Microsoft Xbox one intellectual property stolen by hackers 2

In my post on the case I mentioned Dylan Wheeler, 19, of Perth, which confirmed in an interview that he was a member of the group and that he is one of the two unnamed men, which were mentioned in the indictment that referred him with his online nicknames, “SuperDae” used by the man on Twitter.

In a first time, Wheeler admitted the hack into the developer networks affiliated with Sony and Microsoft, but later he declared himself innocent.

dylan-wheeler- hacked Microsoft

Wheeler has been known by Australian authorities since May 2013 when he was charged for the same cybercrime.

Wheeler is charged with various crimes, including the sale of a homemade mockup of XBox One many months before the official sale of the product was announced by the Microsoft.

Wheeler and the other four members of the hacking team are accused of breaching Microsoft’s Game Developer Network Portal, used by the development community to share and contribute to pre-release tools and software. The group also hacked the PartnerNet, a software platform for game development, in all the attacks, they syphoned sensitive data and intellectual property for XBox One using the previous gathered login credentials.

The investigation is still ongoing … stay tuned

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – hacker, Microsoft)

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