Modi'in Teenager Arrested for Hacking International Online Game

A 17-year-old from the Modi'in area hacked into the online software of the Nexon corporation, which develops the popular online computer game MapleStory, and directed millions of users to a pirated server he had built where they could play for free.

In the game, players travel the "Maple World," confronting monsters and developing their character's skills and abilities, as in other role-playing games. The game has 50 million registered users worldwide.

The suspect comes from an established family in the area and has no prior criminal record. Yesterday, Central District fraud investigators arrested him at his parents' home.

The investigation began several months ago after police received a complaint from the South-Korea based Nexon. Company representatives told them an Israeli user was hacking their software to allow users to play for free, and costing the company significant revenues.

Users may access the server for free, but must pay to use its characters, including Thief, Warrior and Magician.

Israeli investigators discovered the teen had boasted about the hack on several Israeli and foreign Web forums.

Yesterday, investigators under Superintendent Yoram Slackman arrived at the suspect's parents' house and found significant evidence that he was behind the offense.

They arrested the teen on suspicion of a number of criminal violations, and after questioning, released him. During questioning, the suspect told investigators, "I wanted to prove I was Number 1."