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Security Games

The Trap Set By the FBI For Half Life 2 Hacker 637

eldavojohn writes "You might remember the tiny news that Half Life 2 source code was leaked in 2003 ... it is the 6th most visited Slashdot story with over one kilocomment. Well, did anything happen to the source of the leak, the German hacker Axel 'Ago' Gembe? Wired is reporting he was offered a job interview so that Valve could get him into the US and bag him for charges. It's not the first time the FBI tried this trick: 'The same Seattle FBI office had successfully used an identical gambit in 2001, when they created a fake startup company called Invita, and lured two known Russian hackers to the US for a job interview, where they were arrested.'"
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The Trap Set By the FBI For Half Life 2 Hacker

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  • Old News (Score:5, Informative)

    by VoltCurve ( 1248644 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:39PM (#25754717)
    Really, quite old news. This was reported on right after it happened. If I remember right though, Gabe claimed that they had succeeded in tricking the hacker. They did speak with him on the phone
  • by Pinckney ( 1098477 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:43PM (#25754767)

    The article mentions that this trap failed. Apparently he suspected something.

    Anyway, Gembe was sentenced to probation in Germany for the breach and leak. Interesting that the FBI apparently took this so much more seriously than the German courts.

  • myg0t (Score:5, Informative)

    by Digitus1337 ( 671442 ) <lk_digitus&hotmail,com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:43PM (#25754769) Homepage
    The group named in the article is "myg0t" not "mygot." They developed some of the first hacks for Counter-Strike (the original). They became so well known in game as cheaters that a lot of servers are set to automatically kick any playing wearing their tag.
  • by aliquis ( 678370 ) <dospam@gmail.com> on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:57PM (#25754935) Homepage

    Except according to this wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] it's called src/source because it was forked of the GoldSrc engine [wikipedia.org] and they just shorten the name of the new dir to Src.

    Your story seemed to unlikely that I just had to check it up somewhat.

  • by shadow42 ( 996367 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @07:57PM (#25754941)
    From the talk page [valvesoftware.com] of a Valve developer on their developer wiki:

    When we were getting very close to releasing Half-Life 1 (less than a week or so), we found there were already some projects that we needed to start working on, but we couldn't risk checking in code to the shipping version of the game. At that point we forked off the code in VSS to be both $/Goldsrc and /$Src. Over the next few years, we used these terms internally as "Goldsource" and "Source". At least initially, the Goldsrc branch of code referred to the codebase that was currently released, and Src referred to the next set of more risky technology that we were working on. When it came down to show Half-Life 2 for the first time at E3, it was part of our internal communication to refer to the "Source" engine vs. the "Goldsource" engine, and the name stuck.

  • Re:Kilocomment? (Score:3, Informative)

    by aywwts4 ( 610966 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @08:26PM (#25755263)

    1000, the story received 1003 comments.

  • Re:Kilocomment? (Score:5, Informative)

    by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @08:28PM (#25755283)

    A kibicomment is 1024 comments.

  • by ip_fired ( 730445 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:36PM (#25755971) Homepage

    It is not borderline entrapment.

    Entrapment in this sense is defined as [princeton.edu]: a defense that claims the defendant would not have broken the law if not tricked into doing it by law enforcement officials

    This guy had *already broken the law*, he did not break any laws by going to a fake job interview. He just wasn't very smart.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:37PM (#25755977)

    You're wrong. German authorities could have captured the guy just as well. How do I know this? Because they did capture him. It was actually pretty easy, once someone actually told them about his crime.

    Of course, that got him tried in Germany, because Germany doesn't extradite its own citizens to the US. I suppose, the FBI wanted to get a trial in an American court.

  • by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:43PM (#25756047)

    Entrapment is when the authorities cause you to commit a crime (that you wouldn't otherwise) which is not the case here since the crime was already committed.

  • by Toll_Free ( 1295136 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @09:52PM (#25756131)

    Sure they did.

    Except crack was called freebasing. Ask Ricky Prior about basing coke.

    And meth was called Marching Powder, Anti-Depressants and asthma medicine.

    So, parent is right.


  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:28PM (#25756481)

    If you want to split hairs the crime of "conspiracy to commit a crime" has already happened, but it does not, by itself, cause any damage.

    That's the reason it's a separate crime ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(crime) [wikipedia.org] ) - precisely because the planned crime, the one that would have hurt somebody, did not occur yet.

  • by alzoron ( 210577 ) on Thursday November 13, 2008 @10:53PM (#25756689) Journal

    Entrapment is tricking someone into committing a crime. This is more like when the police send out raffle prize announcements to everyone with outstanding warrants and arresting them when they show up.

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @04:34AM (#25758307)

    So if an Iranian company invited you to come work for them, you'd just go and expect the Iranian government to be able to do nothing?

    Extradition treaties protect people who choose not to go to other countries, they don't really protect you if you decide that you are going to do the work for them and fly yourself there or let them fly you there. There are treaties and conventions that ensure that you have consular aid from your country, but if you went on your own, there's not much your country can do legally except complain... and that may work, if we don't want to annoy the foreign country's people/government. It's not a *legal* obligation, however.

    By the way, fraud implies that you are telling untruths which deprive someone of their rights/property without due process. You are not being deprived of your rights if you have been apprehended under due process. Therefore, it is not fraud for someone to cooperate with the police to bring you in and in no way illegal. The police couldn't *make* Valve set up the deception, but they certainly could ask them to do it and gain their cooperation.

    If I conspired to hire a hitman to kill someone in Germany, and I then went to Germany under any circumstances, you'd better believe I'd be in a German jail so after I arrived, no matter why I was there.

    If you commit a crime in a country that is not your own, your citizenship in another country does not mean you can carry out that act and then walk with impunity into another country. Your ignorance of the law is not a defense.

    As far as I know, its perfectly legal to induce someone to come to your country even under false pretenses if it is for the purposes of simply apprehending the person for a fair trial. Cops in the US are perfectly in their rights to use trickery to arrest you and in questioning you. If they are arresting you, they have already followed due process in obtaining a warrant. They can then execute that warrant to find you in any way they can (unless it is specifically illegal or violates the rights of someone other than yourself). The only thing they can't do is enforce it outside their jurisdiction.

    No one is required to give you a warning that an action by you will get you arrested, if there is a warrant for your arrest already. I mean, do the cops call ahead to let perps know we're heading to their parents' house to go get them so that they have the opportunity to not go there? No. The cops may do that if they expect them to turn themselves in and they don't feel like apprehending them, but by no means do they have to.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:30AM (#25758445)

    So by your reasoning, you should be able to be imprisoned by the chinese government if you watch (by chinese government deemed) illegal content on a website that's hosted on a server in China. Even though the content of the website is perfectly legal in the country where you are browsing in? No? Didn't think so... This type of entrapment is a slippery slope.

    This is exactly how the world works. ANY country can issue an arrest warrant for any person, at any time.

    It doesn't MATTER where the person is. It doesn't matter where the crime was committed.

    Canada could have issued a warrant over this for him, and arrested him the moment he stepped into Canada. Of course, why Canada would bother is a separate question, and if they did, it would likely be dismissed by the court because there is no legitimate claim to jurisdiction under Canadian law. But the point remains that they -could- still arrest and try him.

    A country like China, very well could pass laws that make it legal in China to prosecute a German hacker, hacking the US from Germany. Of course they still wouldn't have the ability arrest him outside of China, but they could also issue a warrant for his arrest, and if and when he shows up in China, they could arrest him, try him, and sentence him according to their law.

    The ONLY thing preventing this are various treaties, and other political niceties; but at the end of the day, if China wants you bad enough, and is willing to take the political fallout over the issue, the moment you step into China, you are finished.

    If you go out into the world today,
    be prepared for a big surprise...
    If you go out into the world today
    you'd better go in disguise...

    For if any government any where has
    decided they want your ass.
    Today's the day, I'm sorry to say, it won't be much of a picnic.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.