(Gamespy, June 10th)
Valve Software announced today that several arrests have been made in last year's break into the company's network, which resulted in the theft and distribution of the company's hotly anticipated action game for the PC, Half-Life 2.
Multiple arrests were made in several regions around the world, according to Valve in connection with the source code fiasco, which saw Valve's in-progress game shown to the masses well before it was ready for public consumption. Valve's Gabe Newell gave all the credit of these arrests to the internet gaming community, which helped track down several undisclosed individuals connected to the crimes.
Valve issued the following statement:
The arrests were carried out under the supervision of the FBI's Northwest Cyber Crime Task Force. When contacted by GameSpy, FBI media liasion Ray Lauer confirmed that the arrests did happen by saying that the FBI "... does not contradict anything stated in the press release". Unfortunately, Lauer also said that due to a policy of not commenting on active cases, the FBI had no other statement on the arrests.Arrests have been made in several countries related to the break-in to Valve's network, theft of the Half-Life 2 source code, and release of the source code on the Internet.
"Within a few days of the announcement of the break-in, the online gaming community had tracked down those involved," said Gabe Newell, Valve's CEO. "It was extraordinary to watch how quickly and how cleverly gamers were able to unravel what are traditionally unsolvable problems for law enforcement related to this kind of cyber-crime."
Thousands of tips were received related to the criminal activities, with a core group of people who were able to analyze and backtrack from these clues. Subsequent to these individuals being identified, Valve has been working with various national authorities to prepare cases against those involved, leading to these arrests.
"It was very uplifting to see how the community rallied and tracked these people down. Everyone here at Valve is once again reminded of how much we owe to the gaming community," added Mr. Newell.
GameSpy will have more details on this story as they become available.