- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The U.S. Justice Department has accused four men of stealing $100 million worth of information from Microsoft Corporation and simulator software used to train Apache attack helicopter pilots.

Gaming enthusiasts David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Canada, and Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey, each pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The men will be sentenced in January and face up to five years in prison.

Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland, and Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Indiana, were also charged in an 18-count superseding indictment.

“These were extremely sophisticated hackers. … Don’t be fooled by their ages,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed McAndrew said after Tuesday’s court hearing, The Associated Press reported.

The federal government believes the hacking took place between January 2011 and March 2014. Zombie Studios, a Seattle-based video game company working with the U.S. Army on flight simulation software to train Apache helicopter pilots, is said to have been hacked for two months in late 2012, AP reported.

“As soon as they were notified, they addressed the particular manner in which they were branched,” Mr. McAndrew added.

Authorities said Tuesday that David Pokora’s guilty plea is believed to be the first conviction of a foreign-based individual for hacking into U.S. businesses to steal trade secret information, AP reported.

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