U.S. Attorney: Dutch online gamer sought his revenge on NH company; now he's under indictment
CONCORD - A Netherlands gamer, annoyed that his online "Outwar" account was suspended, hacked into the Portsmouth gaming company's computer servers to disable the game and then stole the proprietary source code, starting his own competitive online game called "Outcraft," according to a federal indictment.
All Anil Kheda, 24, wanted initially that Rampid Interactive LLC of Portsmouth reinstate his account and those of some other unnamed players, according to an indictment filed in U. S. District Court charging him with one count of conspiring to commit computer intrusion and one count of making extortionate interstate threats. His account was suspended after Rampid realized someone had gained access to their computer system and increased the player points on his and other accounts.
For nine months, from November 2007 to August 2008, Kheda and other unnamed conspirators accessed Ramid's computer servers rendering "Outwar" unplayable for about two weeks, costing the company over $100,000 in lost revenues and wages, hosting costs and long-term loss of business. Then the gamers allegedly stole the source code for "Outwar," which has about 75,000 players and which the company had invested about $1.5 million to create.
Kheda allegedly used the code to create "Outcraft," another online game with 10,000 players worldwide, earning himself about $10,000.
According to the indictment, Kehda and the other players allegedly hacked into Rampid's computer, restored their suspended player accounts and awarded themselves extra game points. Then they stole the computer source code.
Kehda and the other players are also accused of copying Rampid's computer network, including its users' table and database, and then deleted users' table on Outwar's computers, making the game unplayable for days at a time.
They allegedly sent messages to Rampid employees, threatening to continue hacking into their computer systems unless Rampid agreed to pay them money. Prosecutors said the gamers offered to refrain from further hacking and reveal their hacking techniques, in exchange for money or other benefits.
The incident stemmed from Nov. 29, 2007, when the conspirators accessed Rampid's computer networks and made changes to Outwar players' user accounts. Rampid, in return, deleted the player accounts of "Master," which Kheda used, and "xPimpster1337," another player.
The next day, Kheda, using the online moniker "SnoopDoggOW," had an online chat with a Rampid employee in which he threatened to retaliate for his "Master" account being suspended.
The transcript of that online conversation:
SnoopDoggOW: "you will pay for deleting master. maybe not now but in some months or years."
Employee at Rampid: wow alright."
In an online chat with another Rampid employee that same day, Kheda acknowledged he and his co-conspirators had deleted the Outwar database (db) in retalitation for their accounts being suspended. He said if Rampid let him continue playing Outwar, he would refrain from further hacking.
SnoopDoggOW: "after you deleted us last night we were forced to search and destroy again this morning," he wrote, according to the indictment.
The employee told Kheda that no one will play the game if they know he has the database.
SnoopDoggOW: sucks for you.
Employee: Guess so.
At some point, Rampid employees made a call to one of the co-conspirator's mothers. Kheda mention him, a juvenile who goes by the online moniker "Pimpster."
"Pimpster may have pussed out after (Rampid employee) called his mom, I'll never talk to that noob snitch again. However, I am still around, you guys probably thought that pimpster has been doing this all by himself, think again noobs. There are lots of things that I kept for myself."
On Dec. 24, 2007, Kheda registered the domain name, "www.Outcraft.com," and hosted the "Outcraft" game in Amsterdam-Noord, the Netherlands, according to the affidavit.