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FBI carries out raids in search for Half-Life 2 hackers

Source code theft being taken very seriously indeed.

America's law enforcement agencies are treating the theft of Half-Life 2 source code and assets from developer Valve very seriously, it has emerged, with a dawn raid being carried out on the home of one suspect last week.

Programmer Chris Toshok reports that his home was raided at 6.30am last Wednesday by a force comprising representatives of both the FBI and the US Secret Service, who removed nine PCs and significant amounts of other equipment from the premises. You can read his account in a mirror of his blog post here.

The warrant presented by the agents makes repeated references to Valve and Valve products, stating that they were searching for "any IP addresses related to any of the Valve internal or external addresses... E-mail addresses including any addresses with the "@valvesoftware.com" domain... Valve passwords and/or user names."

This is the first sign of a serious criminal investigation following the hacking of Valve's network and theft of the Half-Life 2 source code and a beta build of the game last year, and although Chris Toshok protests his innocence, the raid will send a clear message to whoever was responsible for the attack on the developer's network.

Half-Life 2 is currently expected to ship in April, having been delayed from its original date of September 2003, and then delayed again from a pre-Christmas date following the theft of the source code and beta build.

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