A 21-year-old resident of the agricultural town of Kingaroy, Australia, is facing fraud and hacking charges after the Queensland Police Service said the man hacked into the systems of a U.S.-based company that develops online games.
Officers from the State Crime Command’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Group arrested the man on Wednesday. Neither the suspect nor the company police said he attacked ended up named for privacy reasons.
“We would like to acknowledge the assistance of the FBI and the U.S. based gaming company for their assistance in bringing this investigation to a successful close,” said Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group.
The suspect faces three counts of computer hacking and misuse, and five counts of fraud, including dishonestly obtaining property from another, dishonestly apply property to own use, and dishonestly cause detriment and possessing equipment for purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of an offense.
The arrest comes after police executed a search warrant in November. At the time, they seized laptops and a hard drive, which have been forensically analyzed. On the same day as the arrest, law enforcement authorities also executed a search warrant at a property in Poona, where they seized items located within an encrypted container found on a computer.
Police said the man hacked into the U.S. company’s networks, accessing files and databases. He also hijacked the game developer’s Twitter account from which he posted information stolen from the company.
Part of the stolen data ended up used to set up a website that allowed people to search a player database for a certain fee. Police have told Fairfax Media the database contained players’ IP addresses. Other gamers could use these IP addresses to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against their opponents’ routers to prevent them from playing.
The suspect is out on bail. His next court appearance will be April 8 at the Maryborough Magistrates Court. Police said the attacks took place July 14 and July 26, 2013.