Cyber P.I. Tracks Down Pirates Selling Modern Warfare 2

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Cyber P.I. Tracks Down Pirates Selling Modern Warfare 2

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A Craigslist post advertising bundles of Modern Warfare 2 has led private investigators to arrests of thieves and pirates.

On October 29, someone posted an ad selling the Modern Warfare 2 bundle of console and game for $500, over ten days before the game officially comes out. Activision Blizzard spotted the ad on Craigslist and called in IPCybercrime.com, a Dallas P.I. firm, to track down the sellers. Through a series of undercover calls to the number listed, IPCybercrime nabbed the seller, but not before he completed a few transactions. One of the buyers was found to be an Xbox modder, who was later tracked down in Miami, Fl, poised to sell thousands of pirated copies of Modern Warfare 2. The pirate is now in custody.

It was quite a week for Rob Holmes, owner of IPCybercrime, which lives up to its moniker by concentrating in online investigations. "It all happened very fast," he said. "If these guys get their stuff out, then they can do some major damage to sales and spoil it for everybody. We plug leaks every day, but this was one of the biggest ones of the year."

The initial seller was found to be a kid who worked in the warehouse of a major retailer and somehow squirreled away a crate of the MW2 bundles without his supervisor catching wind of the theft. When IPCybercrime called posing as buyers, the perp quickly gave out an address and was seized without incident. I can only assume that he was a minor because his name wasn't leaked and he was transferred to the loss prevention divsion of the retailer instead of being arrested outright.

Reaching the pirate took a little more doing, but honestly these guys are not super hard to find if you are looking in the right place. Interest was piqued first when Activision Blizzard saw a post by "cedelamo" on xbox360iso.com asking for donations so that he could buy the bundle posted above and crack it. IPCybercrime decided to search Facebook for the email address listed and they found a page offering modding services and a phone number. Calling the number, and again posing as a customer, agents were able to get a business address belonging to a computer store owned by Hiram Del Amo. The investigators went to the address and determined that the pirate was 18-year-old Christian Del Amo, who was set to make a killing with pirated MW2 discs printed with the real artwork and a hologram to appear legit. Rob Holmes then called in the Miami-Dade police department, who made the arrest.

The bad news is that even though IPCybercrime worked quickly, pirates can work even quicker. It is assumed that Del Amo, posting as cedelamo, claimed that he cracked the game on Monday. Not so coincidentally, a pirated Modern Warfare 2 saturated torrent sites on the same day, potentially costing Activision Blizzard millions.

The good news is that for once, authorites might have actually caught the guy who did it.

via VentureBeat

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Yay a win for the good guys

Enzeru92:
Yay a win for the good guys

Well, a win for the companies, anyway.

You see, there really is no such thing as...[long, long, long post that nobody will ever read, ever.]

Hell yes. Score one for my industry, for once.

MaxTheReaper:

Enzeru92:
Yay a win for the good guys

Well, a win for the companies, anyway.

You see, there really is no such thing as...[long, long, long post that nobody will ever read, ever.]

Stole the words right out of my mouth.

OT: What morons. "I r post game illegally on MOTHER FUCKING CRAIGSLIST WHICH EVERYONE CAN SEE AND CAN TRACK YOU"

Really the title should be counterfitters

See kids, crime doesn't pay...

Yog Sothoth:
See kids, crime doesn't pay...

Poorly designed crime doesn't pay.

MaxTheReaper:

Enzeru92:
Yay a win for the good guys

Well, a win for the companies, anyway.

You see, there really is no such thing as...[long, long, long post that nobody will ever read, ever.]

This is essentially my thoughts, though. Almost everything is pretty much in a gray area, nowadays.

i'm actually not sure if i think thats a good thing or not...

that said how fucking stupid do you have to be to try to sell a game 10 days before it came out?! why not hang a neon sign off your neck saying "ARREST ME!!!"

... ... ... actually yes i support this. Well done massive corporations! you are fighting a war as unwinnable as the fight against weed, but well done for clipping out the total pants on head retards.

(lol its a great image though "doyh i got me some of those new elec-trickery boxes paw!" head butt wall)

Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Not so coincidentally, a pirated Modern Warfare 2 saturated torrent sites on the same day, potentially costing Activision Blizzard millions.

Oh dear, what a shame...

Actually, it is a shame, it's only going to add further ire to their justifications of the multiplayer. Not to mention all the people at IW (as much as I like calling them lazy) who've worked hard to make the game are getting their effort pissed on.

On the other hand, if the torrent works the pirate ded server version will probably beat MW2 out onto the market. Which would be a hilarious if pyrrhic victory for the pirates.

CloggedDonkey:
Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

image

Quick and dirty. Not the best one I ever did, but it's all I can come up with at half past midnight :P

Amnestic:

CloggedDonkey:
Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

image

Quick and dirty. Not the best one I ever did, but it's all I can come up with at half past midnight :P

Superior, if I do say so myself.

Wow, Yay good thing everything is back the way it should be! Darn Pirates

CantFaketheFunk:

Amnestic:

CloggedDonkey:
Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

image

Quick and dirty. Not the best one I ever did, but it's all I can come up with at half past midnight :P

Superior, if I do say so myself.

*claps* Very well done. Definitely blows mine away, though mine does have the advantage of having Horatio donning two pairs of sunglasses (third panel). Kudos to you.

MaxTheReaper:

Enzeru92:
Yay a win for the good guys

Well, a win for the companies, anyway.

You see, there really is no such thing as...[long, long, long post that nobody will ever read, ever.]

If you post it I'll read it, not in a stalker way, in a you-ought-to-watch-what-you-say way, you promise a wall and I want a wall!

OT: I don't care to be honest, I think that activision will make enough money anyway...

i find it almost impossable to feel any sorro for activision and IW right now with ALL the crap that has ceom around MW2 but hay score 1 to the law.

If it had been a nice dev id be jumping around but MW2 could'nt give a dam if they make sweet FA.

Notice they say "bundles" you don't get bundles on pc, biggest bust on pirates and it's console puts there IWnet is to stop pirates down a tuch.

Unfortunately pirates are impossible to stop since there's thousands all around the world. I'm sure it ain't hard for people to acquire illegal goods if they look in the right place. The only way to stop this is if the developers themselves use some cash to actually protect their product, as we all know they got the cash to, so im not really sympathetic towards Activision.

And to think IW is screwing over it's loyal PC fans for consolization because they THOUGHT it was less vulnerable to Piracy than PC:

image

edited for changed pic

Yog Sothoth:
See kids, crime doesn't pay...

The private detective got paid... you just got to be on the right side of crime.

Treblaine:
And to think IW is screwing over it's loyal PC fans for consolization because they THOUGHT it was less vulnerable to Piracy than PC:

image

...I can all but guarantee you that the percentage of pirated console MW2s will come nowhere near the percentage that CoD4 was pirated on PC.

It is less vulnerable. You need a modded console to pirate; all you need is the right software and an internet to pirate on PC. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it just means it happens much less.

On topic - good. Piracy is never justifiable, and I'm glad the bastards got what was coming to them.

Enzeru92:
Yay a win for the good guys

Well, at least two guys trying an illegal shortcut, earning money without actually earning it, got rewarded for trying to cheat.
Also, like-minded individuals who find out about it might get scared and cease their own activities.

HotFezz8:
how fucking stupid do you have to be to try to sell a game 10 days before it came out?! why not hang a neon sign off your neck saying "ARREST ME!!!"

Being more realistic, that is probably a lot closer to what those like-minded would think.
Those guys are so stupid, I'm going to pirate smart and I'm never getting caught!
It might actually make them harder to catch, or they might be just as clever as the other guys.

CantFaketheFunk:

Treblaine:
And to think IW is screwing over it's loyal PC fans for consolization because they THOUGHT it was less vulnerable to Piracy than PC:

image

...I can all but guarantee you that the percentage of pirated console MW2s will come nowhere near the percentage that CoD4 was pirated on PC.

It is less vulnerable. You need a modded console to pirate; all you need is the right software and an internet to pirate on PC. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it just means it happens much less.

On topic - good. Piracy is never justifiable, and I'm glad the bastards got what was coming to them.

Actually let me break it down what is needed for piracy on PC:

-A PC,
-the right software and
-the technical know how

while on 360 it is completely different as you need:

-An Xbox 360,
-the right software and
-the technical know how

Chipping is not always necessary and isn't even that hard, no harder that most PC maintenance.

Need it be said again that it is the xbox 360 version of Modern Warfare 2 that is flooding the torrent sites while the PC version is nowhere to be seen.

This absolutely SHATTERS the MYTH that consoles are somehow superior platform for developers for anti-piracy measures.

I hate piracy, especially of games, but even more I hate are asshat publishers and ass-kisser developers like Activision and IW that screw over their loyal fans in FAIL attempts to stop piracy. But with those cocky "I-just-pirate-all-my-PC-games" cu*ts causing this just completes the circle of fail.

These craigslist counterfeiters deserve their punishment but I guarantee, this only caught the idiots, idiots too stupid to realise how foolish selling a pirated game before it's release. If these idiots can start up an operation like this... this is only the tip of the iceberg.

I see this console-shift and other features like no dedicated servers as just another anti-piracy or effectively DRM measures, well DRM ONLY HURTS THE LEGITIMATE CONSUMER!!!

And it really pisses me off that some Activision asshat talks about COD4 - which has been the best selling game in years - and complains about "lost sales" to piracy, so as to justify putting what is by all definitions MALWARE on our computers and negatively affecting the gameplay experience of legitimate gamers.

How about you do an article on how the Publishers are over-reacting?

How about some smart anti-piracy measures like with Arkham Asylum with the online copies peppered with "gimped" versions, that is where it hurts the Pirates, not the loyal paying customers!

Treblaine:

Yog Sothoth:
See kids, crime doesn't pay...

The private detective got paid... you just got to be on the right side of crime.

How do you know he didn't do it out of the kindness of his heart...?

Mrsnugglesworth:

MaxTheReaper:

Enzeru92:
Yay a win for the good guys

Well, a win for the companies, anyway.

You see, there really is no such thing as...[long, long, long post that nobody will ever read, ever.]

Stole the words right out of my mouth.

OT: What morons. "I r post game illegally on MOTHER FUCKING CRAIGSLIST WHICH EVERYONE CAN SEE AND CAN TRACK YOU"

Yeah and I bet the dude isn't even some elite hacker like Angelina Jolie or Jonny Lee Miller. They're probably just some dude who read a how to guide he googled.

Good work. Less piracy is a win both for the industry, and for the consumer.

Yog Sothoth:

Treblaine:

Yog Sothoth:
See kids, crime doesn't pay...

The private detective got paid... you just got to be on the right side of crime.

How do you know he didn't do it out of the kindness of his heart...?

Because kindness of his heart doesn't put food on his table and a roof over his head.

So yeah, no piracy on the 360 then. Ho hum.

Amnestic:

CloggedDonkey:
Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

image

Quick and dirty. Not the best one I ever did, but it's all I can come up with at half past midnight :P

Um, why is he holding shades in his hands if he is already wearing a pair of shades?

On topic: Good, I always like it when pirates get what they deserve. It's a win for everyone but the pirates.

Internet Kraken:

Amnestic:

CloggedDonkey:
Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

*imagesnip*

Quick and dirty. Not the best one I ever did, but it's all I can come up with at half past midnight :P

Um, why is he holding shades in his hands if he is already wearing a pair of shades?

image

Dat's de joke.

Internet vigilantes, cool. Even though I don't like CoD it's good to see pirates get screwed over.

Treblaine:

Actually let me break it down what is needed for piracy on PC:

-A PC,
-the right software and
-the technical know how

while on 360 it is completely different as you need:

-An Xbox 360,
-the right software and
-the technical know how

Chipping is not always necessary and isn't even that hard, no harder that most PC maintenance.

Need it be said again that it is the xbox 360 version of Modern Warfare 2 that is flooding the torrent sites while the PC version is nowhere to be seen.

This absolutely SHATTERS the MYTH that consoles are somehow superior platform for developers for anti-piracy measures.

If I may suggest an alternate hypothesis:

The 360 one is flooding torrent sites because ... the PC one hasn't been leaked yet.

That is unfortunately inevitable, and once it happens, I don't doubt that it'll be as prevalent on piracy sites as the 360 version is. Yes, pirating on PC does require some effort, but pirating on a console requires considerably more. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that there's a much larger audience for the 360 version (or even the PS3 version) than there was the PC version, even before the reveal of no dedicated servers. This was true with the first Modern Warfare, too.

Let's say that out of fifty Xbox 360 owners playing MW2, ten pirated it. There are only ten people playing MW2 on the PC, though, five of whom pirated it. Even if there are technically MORE pirated 360 copies being played, it says nothing about the system's security (or lack thereof).

And it really pisses me off that some Activision asshat talks about COD4 - which has been the best selling game in years - and complains about "lost sales" to piracy, so as to justify putting what is by all definitions MALWARE on our computers and negatively affecting the gameplay experience of legitimate gamers.

How about you do an article on how the Publishers are over-reacting?

How about some smart anti-piracy measures like with Arkham Asylum with the online copies peppered with "gimped" versions, that is where it hurts the Pirates, not the loyal paying customers!

COD4 didn't sell as well as it did thanks to the PC owners, I can tell you that. Oh sure, a ton of PC owners bought the game, but it sold significantly better on consoles. Just keep that in mind.

Frankly, I don't think publishers are overreacting at all. That's not to say I think they're reacting correctly in most cases - the Eidos Arkham Asylum case being an example of how to do it right - but I think that piracy is a legitimate problem and it's also one of the reasons (though by no means the only one) that the PC market is much less relevant these days as it used to be.

Amnestic:

Internet Kraken:

Amnestic:

CloggedDonkey:
Since this ended up in Miami I'll say this now: "Don't you know? video games," *puts on shades* "are dangerous." YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

*imagesnip*

Quick and dirty. Not the best one I ever did, but it's all I can come up with at half past midnight :P

Um, why is he holding shades in his hands if he is already wearing a pair of shades?

*image snip*

Dat's de joke.

God, I fucking lol'd

There are cyber P.I.s?

That is so cool.

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