Threat Intelligence, Network Security

Former video game exec accused of stealing trade secrets

A former video game executive was arrested in San Francisco on charges of stealing trade secrets, last Thursday, while boarding a plane to China.

Jing Zeng, formerly of Machine Zone, Inc., the company that makes the popular video game Game of War: Fire Age, stands accused of stealing classified company information, according to the criminal complaint. Authorities said in June 2015, Zeng learned his job wasn't secure and that he might have to leave the company.

On two occasions, Zeng surreptitiously accessed a confidential company database to download “valuable non-public information regarding the way customers use and interact with the Machine Zone game,” the complaint said.

He later tried to use that information to bargain for a severance package in exchange for deleting or handing over the data. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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