#CyberFLASH: Mississauga man first foreign hacker convicted for stealing trade secrets in the U.S.

xbox.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxWILMINGTON, DEL.—A Canadian member of a hacking ring is believed to be the first foreign hacker ever convicted of stealing trade secrets in the United States after he was sentenced in Delaware to 18 months in prison.

David Pokora of Mississauga, pleaded guilty in September 2014 to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement.

Prosecutors said he was part of a small group of gaming enthusiasts that called itself the Xbox Underground that gained access to a U.S. Army computer network and targeted the gaming world, including stealing information from Microsoft and others.

That information allowed the group to build its own Xbox One game system before it was released and to secure pre-release versions of video games, including “Gears of War 3” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”

According to prosecutors, the group stole more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data.

Pokora, 22, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity using a computer. Three Americans in the group have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward McAndrew told The News Journal in Delaware that Pokora’s sentence “is a message that will be heard around the world.”

The FBI says the ring stole more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data. The cyber theft included software and data related to the Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system, popular games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3, and proprietary software used to train military helicopter pilots.

“These were extremely sophisticated hackers. Don’t be fooled by their ages,” McAndrew told reporters earlier this year.

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#CyberFLASH: Canadian Trade secrets increasingly under attack from hackers, Foreign Affairs warns

canada cyber security news

OTTAWA — Foreign affairs’ networks face daily cyber attacks, with the “range and severity” increasing, raising the risk that secret information about trade negotiations could fall into the wrong hands, the department says.

It’s not only information about trade negotiations that is under attack from cyberspace: sensitive information about foreign policy passes through the worldwide network used by Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) at all hours of the day.

Messages can be sent to any of Canada’s allies, or to one of more than 170 Canadian missions abroad.

In a report to Parliament in early November, the department flagged cyber security as a key risk that it must continue to address, saying the loss of sensitive information “could have significant negative consequences for Canada.”

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Illegal software export helped China develop its first attack helicopter


Officials of Pratt & Whitney Canada, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., had two key concerns as they started to purse a potential $2 billion helicopter engine market in China: profits and credibility.

United Technologies pleaded guilty on June 28 to violating the Arms Export Control Act and making false statements in connection with exports of software China used to develop its first attack helicopter. A federal investigation showed that while Pratt & Whitney Canada wanted to capture the Chinese civilian helicopter market, the price of entry was helping China develop a military attack helicopter.

The United States has prohibited the export of military hardware and software to China since 1989, but in pursuit of what was potentially a huge stake in the Chinese civilian aviation market, Pratt & Whitney Canada turned a “blind eye” to China’s use of the technology as it worked to help that country ostensibly develop a dual use military/civil helicopter, the Justice Department charged.

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Secret Memo Warns That Canada Cyber Threat Is Growing

CANADA   Cyber attacks pose a greater risk to Canada’s economic prosperity than the government previously believed and the country lacks the tools to fight hackers, officials warn in internal documents obtained by Bloomberg News.

All new knowledge obtained indicates the problem is more widespread than previously thought,” said a “secret”-stamped memo to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews from his deputy minister, obtained under Canada’s freedom-of-information law.

Canada is trying to bolster its defenses as countries deploy increasingly advanced technology to disrupt their enemies’ networks and gain access to trade secrets. Some of Canada’s biggest companies, such as Potash Corp. (POT) of Saskatchewan Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp., have been targeted.

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