Game News GTA 6: before Rockstar’s game leaks, the FBI intervenes… For Half-Life 2!
This weekend Rockstar Games fell victim to a hack that led to a massive leak of GTA 6 videos. Showing the game in-development build, they were uploaded by a hacker who demanded money from Rockstar without releasing the source codes for GTA 5 and 6.
GTA 6: the pirate soon tracked by the FBI?
A situation that provoked many reactions, including the publication of several working versions of Cult of the Lamb, Immortality, Horizon: Zero Dawn or even God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Last of Us. The goal, to show that the leaked videos are far from representing a game when it is put on the market. For its part, Rockstar Games expressed its sadness to see its work exposed, but indicated that work will continue as normal. But from a legal point of view, the hacker should not be left alone, especially since there is an attempt to extort behind it all.
Here is a prototype for the first boss fight against Baldur in God of War (2018). Watch till the end to see the difference. This is completely normal stuff – anyone who says otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about. pic.twitter.com/qVlMnBR74S
— Cian Maher (@cianmaher0) September 20, 2022
Last week, Uber was targeted in an attack, and Uber believes that the same person was involved in the Rockstar attack. A situation that can push the FBI, which is working on the case of Uber, to control the attack suffered by the developers of Grand Theft Auto VI. This is not the first time that the FBI has been involved, and the whole story around the big leak of GTA 6 brings a story, related to Half-Life 2.
Video game and FBI: back to the story of the one who stole Half-Life 2
In 2003-2004, almost 19 years passeda leak shook Valve and Half-Life 2. A young German pirate a 21-year-old named Axel Gembe, managed to code a terrible malware, and in violation of Valve systems to observe the development of the long-awaited Half-Life 2. For six months, not being found, he watched everything that happened. During these months of espionage, he get the source code of the gameand send it to a trusted person.
I have the keys to the kingdom. I did not appear (…) There is, of course, an idea of bragging. But the person I shared the code with assured me that he would keep it to himself. He didn’t, he told Eurogamer in 2019
In September 2003, everything is leaking on the internet and let the world know that the game is the way behind. Bad publicity was created. In February 2004, Axel Gembe, known as Da Guy, claimed to have infiltrated himself by sending an email to Gabe Newell., the boss of Valve. He explained that he didn’t do it just to observe the progress in the game, and that he never intended to cause problems for Valve. In a second email, Gembe asked, offhandedly he said, if Valve is interested in his skills to get a job.
It was and still is my dream to work for a game development company, so I’m just asking. I hope they will forgive me for what I did, mostly because it was not intentional.
A fake job interview to lure the hacker to the United States
Gabe Newell saw an opportunity, and started chatting with the young pirate. But behind the scenes Newell and the FBI cooperated in the entrapment the intruder. The interview took place over the phone and in a completely traditional way, to make a proposal to meet at Valve headquarters, in Seattle. Bringing Axel Gembe is guaranteed to be possible stop him the second he sets foot on American soil. But complications related to obtaining visas and the security of Valve’s servers prompted the FBI to abandon the trap in May 2004.
In place, the federal agency contacted the German police, who wasted no time in going down armed to the pirate’s house. Brought to the station, we explained to him he was lucky he didn’t get on the plane, because the situation is more stressful for him. In the end, the young man did well, with a 7 hour test and a sentence of two-year suspended prison sentence. In 2011, he sent a new message to Gabe Newell, saying:
I’m so sorry for what I did to you. I never meant to hurt you. If I can come back, I will (…) You are my favorite developer, and I always buy your games.
In the end, all’s well that ends well, because the hacker rejected this story and now develops security applications for Windows. Valve must have lost millions of dollars in 2004, but Half-Life 2 sold nearly 4 million copies in three years which followed its release, and acquired cult status.
For GTA 6, we will have to wait several months before knowing exactly what the developers of Rockstar have in store for us, and maybe even more before you have it in your hands. We know that ambitions are great, that it is important to hope, one day, surpassing GTA V and its 170 million copies sold.