An Indian-origin man has been charged with hacking into and disabling a New Hampshire-based gaming company's computer servers, resulting in loss of thousands of dollars, and faces up to seven years in prison.
Anil Kheda (24), of the Netherlands is charged with one count of conspiring to commit computer intrusion and one count of making extortionate interstate threats.
Kheda faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and two years in prison on the interstate threats charge, if convicted.
A federal grand jury in New Hampshire on Thursday returned the indictment charging Kheda, a Dutch national, with allegedly conspiring to hack into and disable computer servers belonging to Rampid Interactive.
The New Hampshire-based company publishes and hosts a multi-player online role-playing game called 'Outwar', assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said in a statement.
The indictment alleges that from November 2007 to August 2008, Kheda and other members of the conspiracy, all of whom were avid players of the game, accessed Rampid's computer servers without authorisation and rendered the game unplayable for days at a time.
The indictment also alleges that Kheda and his co-conspirators threatened Rampid with continued hacking into its computer systems unless Rampid agreed to pay them money or provide them with other benefits.
Rampid incurred losses of over 100,000 dollars as well as the loss of exclusive use of their proprietary source code, which it had invested approximately USD 1.5 million in creating.