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"Hacker" Asked Microsoft to Help Him Access Infinity Ward's Emails

| 25 May 2012 03:20
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Jason West and Vince Zampella's lawyer claims Activision tried to involve Microsoft in "Project Icebreaker."

"Project Icebreaker" (you may add a "DUHN DUHN DUHN!" if you feel the need to) was, according to the testimony of Thomas Fenady, the name given to an attempt to access Call of Duty creators Jason West and Vince Zampella's email accounts and voice mail. Fenady, apparently acting on the orders of Activision's in-house lawyer, George Rose, ran into trouble after bypassing Infinity Ward's firewall, so he decided to call tech support.

"He sees there is a firewall there, but he breaks through the firewall", said West and Zampella's lawyer, Robert Schwartz. "He's now seeing their email server, but he can't make any sense out of it. So he calls Microsoft and says, 'Hey we have this Microsoft Exchange server out at Infinity Ward. Can you help us figure out how to break the password and read ­the ­emails?'"

"Microsoft said, 'Do you have a court order? This makes us feel very uncomfortable.'"

Fenady ran into the same problem when he approached IT firm, InGuardians. The Washington, DC-based firm turned the job down due to the "legal hurdles" it represented. Fenady then began planning something a little more extravagant: He apparently approached Activision's Facilities Department and asked them to stage a "fake fumigation" and a "mock fire drill" in order to allow him to access the files the old fashioned way. That plan never came to fruition.

What's strange about this is not that Activision wanted to see the contents of West and Zampella's inbox - that kind of employee surveillance is nothing special in companies the size of Activision - but that Fenady, who was Activision's Director of IT at the time, and thus likely to be a network administrator, needed to approach outside sources to acquire the information Rose wanted.

Schwartz made the claim in a recent interview with Game Informer. In the same interview, West and Zampella offered a fairly droll summary of their take on the ongoing court case.

"They say that Modern Warfare 3 would have been a much better game and would have made 700 million more dollars for them and they want us to pay that," said Zampella.

"We deprived them of our services by being fired and therefore we owe them money," added West.

Source: Game Informer

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