For eight months, Canadian David Pokora was under sealed indictment for conspiring to steal as much as $1 billion worth of intellectual property, and federal prosecutors were intent on making him the first foreign hacker to be convicted for the theft of American trade secrets.

Dylan Wheeler, a hacker in Perth, Australia, whose alias was SuperDaE, was given a password list for the public forums operated by Epic Games, a game developer known for its Unreal and Gears of War series. Once he had a toehold at Epic, Wheeler wanted a talented partner to help him sally deeper into the network. "Who is big enough to be interested in something like this?" he wondered. Xenomega—David Pokora—whom he'd long admired from afar and was eager to befriend, was the first name that popped to mind.

Pokora and Wheeler combed through Epic's network by masquerading as an IT worker whose login credentials Wheeler had compromised.

Ed McAndrew, Co-Practice Leader of the firm's Privacy and Data Security Group and the assistant U.S. attorney, led the investigation into Pokora and Wheeler.

As he sat in rooms and listened to Pokora explain his hacks with professorial flair, McAndrew, the lead prosecutor, took a shine to the now 22-year-old Canadian. "He's a very talented kid who started down a bad path," he says. "A lot of times when you're investigating these things, you have to have a certain level of admiration for the brilliance and creativity of the work. But then you kind of step back and say, 'Here's where it went wrong.'"

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