Valve Tried to Lure Out Hacker with Fake Job Interview

Back in 2003, the source code for then-unreleased Half Life 2 showed up on file sharing sites. Now, according to documents uncovered by German Public Radio, Valve worked with the FBI's Seattle office to try to lure out the hacker responsible with a job interview.

The ruse didn't work. The alleged hacker, Axel "Ago" Gembe, of Germany never came to Seattle. They did get him on the phone for a 40-minute conversation, under the auspices of talking about a job opportunity, in which Gembe talked about how he broke into Valve's network and observed their development of Half Life 2 for six months. He claimed he didn't post the code, or knowingly tell others how to get into the network, but that somehow another hacker group eavesdropped on an IRC conversation and found out. That group was the one responsible for getting the source code out.

It's some interesting cloak-and-dagger stuff. Apparently the fake job interview was a tactic the Seattle FBI had used before to snare a Russian hacker, going so far as to create a fake startup. That worked. Gembe was charged in Germany and sentenced to probation there, but now he's wanted in the U.S. for creating some malware used in a denial of service attack back in 2003.

Valve Tried to Trick Half-Life 2 Hacker Into Fake Job Interview [Wired]


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