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Man Arrested For RuneScape MMORPG Online Robbery

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the doing-pretend-work-for-pretend-boots dept.

Security 118

Unexpof writes "A man has been arrested by the British Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU), accused of stealing the usernames and passwords from players of the RuneScape MMORPG. Security experts report that this is one of the first occasions when a Brit has been apprehended for 'virtual robbery,' although incidents have happened in the past. For instance, the CEO of the sci-fi trading game EVE Online stole 200 billion 'kredits,' which he then used as a deposit on a real-world house, and in October last year a Japanese woman was arrested by police after allegedly hacking her virtual husband 'to death.'"

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The difference is (3, Interesting)

jforr (15487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269338)

He hacked the logins which is pretty much equivalent to hacking an email account. The eve online thefts were all perpetuated via in-game mechanisms and since the game's terms state that all in-game items are property of the maker of the game, there was no actual IRL theft to prosecute.

Re:The difference is (1, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269384)

It's not exactly the same as hacking someone's email account though, because if you do that you can potentially get hold of peoples bank/ebay etc accounts. I don't give a rat's arse about this or that game, and I'm a little annoyed about the idea of tax payer's money being wasted on non-crimes such as this.

Re:The difference is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269444)

I'm absolutely sure those people won't use the same password for their email account, which can conveniently be found in the game's account info.

The faith in humanity is strong in this one.

Re:The difference is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269858)

I should probably change my password real quick, 1,2,3,4 gosh I feel like a bit of a noob.

Re:The difference is (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269476)

It's not exactly the same as hacking someone's email account though, because if you do that you can potentially get hold of peoples bank/ebay etc accounts. I don't give a rat's arse about this or that game, and I'm a little annoyed about the idea of tax payer's money being wasted on non-crimes such as this.

Well, I assume Runescape is paid for on a monthly payment and you're actually 'renting' something that the makers of Runescape technically own (if they have a ToS similar to WoW). We discussed this in August [slashdot.org] about whether or not virtual property should be under the same law as regular property.

And really, you should be happy that your tax dollars are paying for this. The closest analogy I can think of is if you rented a moving truck and someone stole it from in front of your house and then anonymously returned it to the store at the end of your rental period. Now, you didn't get to move any of your stuff yet you were still charged for the truck. Basically you've entered into an agreement to use someone business's property in exchange for money and now a third party has not only obstructed that but prevented you from receiving use/enjoyment from your purchase. On a case by case basis, maybe not a big enough deal for $13 (or whatever Runescapes monthly payment is). On a mass scale (like this), call the authorities. The sad thing is that the emotional attachment and feelings of ownership that humans attach to accounts, items and characters are more than likely overlooked. And there's not a lot you can do about that, the law sticks to protecting things that are real and definite and measurable like your monthly payment.

Now, if Runescape was a free game and there was no credit card information at risk then I would agree that the authorities should let the players appeal to the Runescape company to increase protection of their accounts.

Re:The difference is (2, Informative)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269566)

Runescape accounts are already very secure.

I'm sure I'll get mocked for this, but I did play the game for a long time as a member a few years ago.
Accounts have a password, but in game, to access your bank, you also need to enter a 4-digit pin number, and it's not type-able with your keyboard, so no keylogger can get it, and the places where numbers are change with each click. Also, you can't trade items with other players in very unbalanced trades (to stop gold farming).

I'm not sure what good it would do to rob or even steal another players account, seeing how Jagex (that's the company that runs Runescape) monitors accounts pretty closely, and you can't trade gold to another player, or even drop trade. (Drop trading is dropping items in the hope they will appear as loot to another player).

Runescape, as far as MMO's go, is as secure as it can possibly be.

Oh, and membership is only $6/month, not 13.

Re:The difference is (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269724)

Runescape, as far as MMO's go, is as secure as it can possibly be.

AP - Quebec - Another teen corpse missing fingers and eyes was found Saturday in the vicinity of Quebec's biggest internet cafe.

"We are starting to see a lot of this," said Officer Bergeron, "now that Runescape has increased security. People watch who logs into Runescape with their retna scans and fingerprint devices ... at the cafe and then they lay in wait outside. When the person comes out, they beat them until they give up the password and then they take the other two things they need."

Jagex, makers of Runescape, did not return calls to their offices.

This marks the twentieth vicious slaying for Runescape items and virtual currency. An anonymous patron of the cafe said, "We've all been there. I mean, my good friend has twice the cash I do in game and I'm not denying it--I've had thoughts about how simple and quick it would be to asphyxiate him and then remove his eyeball with a pen or melon baller ... and you really just need one index finger for the fingerprints. And then just log in with his retna and finger kept fresh in my refrigerator. I wouldn't be a weirdo about it, I've seen those shady guys with the eye/finger keychains. It's so simple and all you're doing is stealing some stuff off their account ... I'm honestly shocked more gamers aren't doing it."

The recent victim's mother said she knew that her son was involved with Runescape but that she wasn't aware of the risks associated with such a game. After identifying the eyeless corpse of her son, she spoke out against online gaming and implored regulators to think of the children and put a stop to all online gaming. She ended her statement with "Before parents make that first $6 payment for their kids ... they should realize what they are condemning them to."

Re:The difference is (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269814)

Should we ban black Friday sales because people in large crowds might get hurt?

Re:The difference is (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270502)

Even if that were a good idea (which it isn't), the retail lobby would never let it fly.

More generally, politics means things are never simple.

Re:The difference is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269804)

To continue the pedantry, it varies [runescape.com] depending on payment method,
  • £3.50 - £6.00
  • $5.95 - $11.96
  • €5.95 - €7.50

per month.

Re:The difference is (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270864)

5$/month for me :D

Even though Jagex has gone through extensive measures to limit the ability of hackers to harm their prey, there is still a plague of hacks from merchanting clans and account sellers that specifically attack those people who do not yet have a bank pin.

The idea is that some private clan performs a buyout on some item, then when the item crashes, the inside members hack other accounts, then use the hacked player to buy the crashing items. Typically, the hacker then drops the crashing items on the other player's account to reduced evidence or just to be mean.

It's not as uncommon as you would think. I partly run the Discuss Item clan chat as part of a proactive means to help players without the trolling and otherwise undesirable immaturity that is typically found on the Forums. We get players panicking several times per week after finding that their RS savings have been replaced by a few thousand 300% inflated crashing potions or runes.

Account selling is even simpler. They target pures or exceptionally wealthy players, then sell their accounts cheaply to new players.

Personally, as a player with substantial in-game wealth, I make sure to deposit *all* of my items into the bank behind a pin before I log out.

Re:The difference is (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272118)

There are dozens of ways to transfer money between accounts if that is your goal. The Bounty Hunter game was one of the most effective, and there have been problems with the Party Room and other places where even with the "balanced trade" you can still transfer huge amounts of money.

There have also been malicious folks who log into an account and then clean out the bank (dumping it into the party room or elsewhere, or simply leaving it "on the floor" in the bank) and then log out. That would be akin to the above post where you would have a rental truck that would be returned.... with the tires, seats, engine, and everything but the chassis removed. This is done just to be malicious, not for any personal gain. The bank PINs help, but they don't solve all of the problems and can be defeated as well via screen captures (there are some good OCR recognition programs with some Runescape hacking software) and keeping track of mouse movements.

The dark side to Runescape is indeed rather ugly and scary after a fashion, and some very black, black hat hackers that have joined into the fun. This guy that was arrested by the UK authorities was small fish compared to the really dangerous guys.

Re:The difference is (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270554)

For all the press this game is getting I'm pretty sure they will resurrect the character and he can go on with his life, maybe if their nice they'll give him a couple of virtual bucks to buy a new virtual life which he could really use. I personally think proposing a jail sentence is retarded, giving this kind of thing such a 'real world' significance just provides a false sense of security to people who want to cry to law enforcement every time someone steps on their virtual property. Next thing you know we start seeing law suits of trespass and attempted robbery when a bunch of kids virtually gang up on someone else (virtually of course) and makes someones virtual life a bit more difficult.

Re:The difference is (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270784)

Yet this could end up being some sort of goofy precedence setting case for when things like Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash Metaverse happen.

Re:The difference is (1)

dragonfoe (947822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30271168)

I see no difference, many users will use the same password for games as they do in their email and other permissions. Including bank sites and paypal.

Re:The difference is (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30271372)

I don't give a rat's arse about this or that game, and I'm a little annoyed about the idea of tax payer's money being wasted on non-crimes such as this.

Better to prosecute them for a crime that doesn't concern you before they move onto crimes that do target you. Stop them while they're still phishing Runescape accounts, instead of e-mails, bank accounts, or credit cards.

I'm sure you will appreciate that taxpayer money is used to pursue criminal charges when someone steals your [insert thing that nobody else but you cases about here].

Re:The difference is (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272006)

It is pretty close to the same thing. What happened was that this guy who was arrested made a Phishing website that looked and behaved just like the real thing, and required the "user" to enter the username and password in order to enter. Enough individuals entered to "correct" information that they were able to use those username/password combinations to "hack" into the real user accounts on the official Jagex servers.

This is no different than somebody setting up a website that looks very similar to the yahoo servers and doing essentially the same thing, or for those phishing websites that ask for credit card information. This is a real-world crime that happened here, and did not involve anything that was done in-game (other than the contents of those user accounts were cleaned out or used for nefarious purposes). Items of real value were taken and transferred via this "hack".

What does make this different is that bonafide security measures were compromised, and the law is pretty clear that it doesn't even matter what was taken or how the information was used after it was obtained: this idiot of a guy simply broke the law. If he wasn't into the game so much, he likely would have gone after bank accounts and credit card information.

Re:The difference is (0, Offtopic)

kv9 (697238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30271244)

I'd just like to chime in and say that both the submitter and the editor (hi taco!) are fucking retarded. fuck karma.

Misleading blogvertising (2, Insightful)

Revvy (617529) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269344)

That's a terrible quote from a not-so-good blog post. It also appears that the submitter, Unexpof, only links to stories on Graham Cluley's blog at Sophos.

Reality check (4, Funny)

seniorcoder (586717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269346)

I hope he doesn't take my slashdot karma points.

Re:Reality check (1, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269402)

Censoring your slashdot password is built into the IP protocol itself, so wherever you post it, it will be asterisked out.

See: *******

Re:Reality check (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269498)

Censoring your slashdot password is built into the IP protocol itself, so wherever you post it, it will be asterisked out.

See: *******

blah! [bash.org]

Re:Reality check (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270168)

Really? SakdoctorIsAFagg0t

I still see it.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270382)

Of course you still see it, it's your password!! But where you see SakdoctorIsAFagg0t the rest of us see ******************.

HELP! (0, Offtopic)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269590)

Ok, it's official...the world is INSANE!

Here's How He Was Arrested... (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269778)

...a credit card company got suspicious when they received applications from Glorion OrcBane, Aelrick WindRider, and Bokk theNaueseating, all with the same address of a basement flat in Liverpool.

Re:Reality check (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272188)

Did you pay RL money for them?

Poster has it wrong... (5, Informative)

Trracer (210292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269348)

Uhm, it was not the CEO for CCP (makers of Eve Online) who stole isk (not "kredits") to buy a house. It was a CEO of a player-run banking corporation. Ingame Eve corporations are like clans, so there's a BIG difference.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269568)

this needs to be moded up. EVE's 'dollar' is the isk and the guilds are 'corporations' in EVE. CCP is the maker of the game EVE... so it's entirely likely the poster might have mistaken the EVE online situation.

More over, CCP hired a nobel prise winner for economics to manage the market in the EVE online game so I find the idea that the CEO of CCP somehow stealing from his company and buying a house a little suspect, especially given the lack of links to prove that.

I would include links myself to further this information but i cannot from this location, as i post this.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (3, Informative)

NightRain (144349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269660)

The reference to buying a house comes from the fact that Ricdic, the CEO of said (in game) bank that was stolen from, converted the isk he stole to real money via Real Money Trading. This part, whilst not hacking, was against the EULA of the game, and got his account banned.

His stated reason for going the RMT route was a sick child, and a mortgage debt...

Re:Poster has it wrong... (2, Insightful)

jmauro (32523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269876)

He also wasn't arrested, just banned from the game.

Re:EBank theft (3, Insightful)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270028)

I think it's also worth emphasising that it was only the sale of in-game currency for cash which got Ricdic's account banned, not the actual theft. If he had kept the cash in-game, he wouldn't have been subject to sanctions from CCP at all.

Referencing the original BBC News article [bbc.co.uk] :

Ricdic has now been thrown out of the game as trading in-game cash for real money is against Eve Online's terms and conditions.

The rules governing play within Eve would not have sanctioned Ricdic if he had simply stolen the cash and used it in the game, nor if he had bought kredits with real dollars.

Of course the nature of this particular theft doesn't really relate to the RuneScape account theft since it occurred within the rules of the game in question; describing it as "similar illegal activity" is misleading at best.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269992)

CCP hired a nobel prise winner for economics to manage the market in the EVE online game

Since I'm about to complete my Ph.D. I sure hope people will refer to me as a Nobel prize winner in Physics when I'm done ;)

Re:Poster has it wrong... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270534)

Why would it mater if they have an economist working for them? That would have nothing to do with the CEO stealing ISK. They hired him to look at the in-game economy, not audit the companies books.

And after what happened with the global economy, I think it is best we keep these economists working on games.

Interstellar kredits (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270024)

isk (not "kredits")

Within EVE Online, ISK stands for "interstellar kredits" [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Interstellar kredits (1, Interesting)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270056)

They deliberately misspelled the word so that the acronym would match the ISO 4217 [wikipedia.org] code for the Icelandic Krona.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270076)

Yeah, and that's a big difference! Reputation is everything, and this posting on Slashdot is definitely slander.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270084)

And you can't really even call it stealing. Other players GAVE their isk to the banking corporation with the understanding that they could take it back with interest later. Since there is no in-game way to enforce this sort of relationship, doing this with people you have no reason to trust is just like throwing your money away.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30271796)

And you can't really even call it stealing. Other players GAVE their isk to the banking corporation with the understanding that they could take it back with interest later. Since there is no in-game way to enforce this sort of relationship, doing this with people you have no reason to trust is just like throwing your money away.

You mean it's just like a real bank?

Re:Poster has it wrong... (1)

Adaeniel (1315637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270286)

stole isk (not "kredits")

I believe that kredits would be fine in this case; the currency of the EVE universe is ISK, not isk. It is capitalized because it is an abbreviation for interstellar kredits.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270460)

Uhm, it was not the CEO for CCP (makers of Eve Online) who stole isk (not "kredits") to buy a house. It was a CEO of a player-run banking corporation. Ingame Eve corporations are like clans, so there's a BIG difference.

If you are going to report a story, make sure you research the facts first before posting about Eve. Enough posts have been put up before mine for you to know that you are totally wrong in your claim that the CEO did this. I dislike shotty Reporting.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30271982)

Eve Online is a

sci-fi trading game

?

Ouch... that made me cringe. CmdrTaco has always had some of the worst summaries ever.

Re:Poster has it wrong... (1)

ItsColdOverHere (928704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272134)

I smell a defamation/libel lawsuit

user credential theft is not a virtual robbery. (5, Informative)

Nickodeemus (1067376) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269358)

someone needs to get a clue. stealing and using or selling a users credentials is not a virtual theft. virtual theft is stealing the users stuff inside the game. stealing thier credentials to get into the game is the same as stealing their credentials for thier bank account or for their computer. Using said stolen credentials amounts to unlawful access at the very least.

Re:user credential theft is not a virtual robbery. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270068)

How about Virtual Identity Theft?

Re:user credential theft is not a virtual robbery. (2, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270340)

Indeed.

What is being stolen during a hack is the victim's access to the game that they DID pay for with real life money.

Re:user credential theft is not a virtual robbery. (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270556)

Why do they steal the credentials? So they can access the virtual content and either strip the account dry of its resources or to sell the account (which is all the virtual characters and resources) to another person. So really, you are just nitpicking.

Re:user credential theft is not a virtual robbery. (1)

Nickodeemus (1067376) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270770)

No, really, stealing the items inside the game is not illegal in the real world because there are no laws pertaining to it.

It has still to be determined whether virtual items or currency has and real world value by the government. I hope it stays that way too, because once the gov decides it has real world value they will decide to tax it in some manner. Outside of the majority of these games the virtual items and currency cannot be legally traded due to the terms of the EULA. Doing so is normally a serious EULA violation that will get you banned from the game. That does not mean that there isn't a black market of sorts to do it, and in fact, for most games there are such black markets.
People stealing such items and trading them for real world money is dodgy at best, since many governments charge income taxes and I seriously doubt that those who do this type of thing pay income taxes on their earnings.

But I digress: I am not nitpicking since in an of itself stealing the in game items is not illegal. Accessing the persons account using stolen credentials is, by most standards, illegal.

Re:user credential theft is not a virtual robbery. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272512)

So really, you are just nitpicking.

To be fair, it is not the GP's fault but the submitter and article authors fault.

Both use the word 'theft' and did so in the context of crimes. That fully brings the word into legal use, and legally theft is very specifically (nitpicky) defined. You can't avoid nitpicking when it comes to legal terms, since that is what they are by definition.

So no, taking someones credentials is not theft as defined by the law.

Using them without permission is, and the law is different between the US and UK, but in neither country does that crime fall under 'theft' or any of its related crimes.

In the US for sure, and from what I can tell in the UK too, you have to look at a totally separate unrelated set of laws to find the one that defines this action is illegal. They are all computer crime laws relating to unauthorized access and digital trespassing family of laws.

Saying taking someones credentials is theft is akin to saying calling someone 'tall' is armed robbery. Not even in the same field.

The only time theft laws come into play is when/if a person used your credentials without authorization to find where you live, and came to take your stuff located there.
I'm sure it happens, but not in the linked article at least.

Not Eve Online, Eve Bank (5, Informative)

Amezick (102131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269360)

The CEO of Eve Bank stole the online cash. The CEO of CCP (maker of eve) had nothing to do with this. Eve Bank is a player run financial institution inside the game. FACT CHECK!

Re:Not Eve Online, Eve Bank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30271322)

The summary is complete shit in this issue. Slashdot editors should fact-check the submission for the love of god.

I hope they get a defamation suit by Hilmar Veigar Pétursson (CCP CEO) for this bulllshit.

Right now, people come that come into Slashdot or search in google [tinypic.com] will believe that Eve Online and CCP are criminals.

STOP BEING PIECE OF SHIT LAZY YOU FUCKING EDITORS /rant

Incorrect Summary (4, Informative)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269366)

There is no "CEO" of Eve Online. Eve Online is a game produced by CCP of Iceland.

There ARE Virtual CEO's of Virtual corporations within the Space-based MMO EVE Online.

I am also not aware of any corp CEO that has used EVE-O ISK to buy a real world house. Somehow I doubt any bank would accept a virtual money as collateral on a real house. Of course, If a private party was that foolish, then hey, more power to the corp CEO. Nevertheless that sounds like a fake story.

Well it was on slashdot, so it must be... (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269450)

Actually, that story happened, at least it was wildly [no, not misspelled, though other words are] reported at the time. It was a huge scam with a PLAYER run bank doing something nasty. I would give more details, but that would mean having to give a rats arse about Eve.

But yeah, the summary makes it out like it was a CEO of the company behind Eve that did this. I was with that company I would sue Slashdot for slander in England (sure a brit read it).

Re:Well it was on slashdot, so it must be... (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269750)

Oh, I knew about the EVE Bank scandal, You couldn't play EVE and NOT know about it. I was just questioning the veracity of the report that the CEO in question actually used the virtual funds to buy a real house.

Although I suppose (as another has postulated) that he could have sold the funds for real money, but that seems unlikely as well, given the high-profile nature of the scam, I suspect that CCP was watching his account closely for large ISK transfers. Although back then I know that they weren't as vigilant as they are now, so a massive RMT for all those billions of ISK might be possible, although I still think it highly unlikely.

Re:Well it was on slashdot, so it must be... (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269780)

He *did* use the funds to get real world money, and was banned from the game for it.

Re:Well it was on slashdot, so it must be... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270342)

1. Open guild / corporation in MMO.
2. Call Guild / Corp "[MMOName] Bank"
3. Convince idiots to give you their in-game money.
4. Sell all of the in-game money to currency farmers.
5. Buy a house.

Guess the profit is hidden in there somewhere...

Re:Well it was on slashdot, so it must be... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269760)

The source article is written by a Brit and published on a British company's website so sueing in England won't be hard (just not slahsdot).

Of course the original author wasn't retarded enough to actually name the company, though it's in the article he linked to as a reference (then again so is the in-game nature of the company).

Re:Well it was on slashdot, so it must be... (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270396)

I was with that company I would sue Slashdot for slander in England

Well then you're part of the problem. If I was the CEO of CCP I would write to Slashdot and politely request a correction.

Re:Incorrect Summary (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269452)

It is possible they sold the ISK online, converting it into hard cash.

What? (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269368)

Alright, the first part of the article deals with actual crime, but the support examples of "crime" are a civil matter. The way he went about capturing users data is illegal, "stealing" in game currency is a policy for the company to deal with. The last example is just stupid, if true (citation needed).

what kind of a bank... (4, Funny)

Shanrak (1037504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269372)

Eve Online stole 200 billion "kredits", which he then used as a deposit on a real-world house

What kind of a bank would take 'kredits' as deposit for a house and where can I sign up for an account? I have 500 billion ZWD [wikipedia.org] to use as collateral for a loan.

Re:what kind of a bank... (3, Funny)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269462)

why, any bank that runs KDE on their desktops, of course!

Re:what kind of a bank... (1)

roachdabug (1198259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269752)

Eve Online stole 200 billion "kredits", which he then used as a deposit on a real-world house

What kind of a bank would take 'kredits' as deposit for a house and where can I sign up for an account? I have 500 billion ZWD [wikipedia.org] to use as collateral for a loan.

In-game currencies are commonly traded for real-world cash. Right now it looks like 200 billion ISK is worth about US$8000.

Other cases (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269374)

Security experts report that this is one of the first occasions when a Brit has been apprehended for "virtual robbery", although incidents have happened in the past. For instance, the CEO of the sci-fi trading game Eve Online stole 200 billion "kredits"

That's completely different. The "theft" of the Eve credits was entirely in-game - arresting someone for that would be like bringing a case for murder against someone for in-game killing. The case in this article is about the theft (or more likely I should think either "obtaining services by deception" or "obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception" - both crimes under the Theft Act but not actually theft themselves) of actual game accounts.

Eve Online??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269378)

The eve online statement is horrible - no CEO of it stole isk.

It was the CEO of a bank in EVE Online, not EVE itself - and EVE certainly wouldn't be classified as an 'online trading game' per se. And it certainly isn't a good example of a person being apprehended - they never arrested the fellow - it just in general looks like some crappy sentence structure with some mish-mashed facts.

What? (1)

sifRAWR (1544341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269396)

I thought Jagex had already removed PvP combat?

Re:What? (1)

KitsuneSoftware (999119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269482)

They didn't get rid of it, they just changed it a lot. No unbalanced trading, and no control over what you win in a PvP fight (at least, that's what I understood of it when they explained it, but I never played it PvP in the first place).

Re:What? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270282)

thx for the sig link, Absolute Shisen-Sho is addictive

Not virtual robbery... (4, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269414)

Try prosecution under the Misuse of Computers Act, specifically for unauthorised access to the accounts - which this fits perfectly. He stole and used usernames and passwords, nuff said.

Re:Not virtual robbery... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269436)

Yes, this is ordinary robbery, but carried out on a computer. Virtual robbery is when you steal items off a player character through an approved game mechanism, which is not an illegal act. And in other non-news, slashdot editors don't edit.

Re:Not virtual robbery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269732)

Virtual robbery is when you steal items off a player character through an approved game mechanism, which is not an illegal act.

Is that actually possible in any MMOG besides classic UO? Even an unapologetically brutal PvP game like Darkfall didn't bother with pickpocketing or burglary. If you want someone's stuff, you have to kill them first.

I'm sure someone will chime in with the name of some niche game that still has it.

Re:Not virtual robbery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270948)

Didn't you notice? Today's climate change article included a relevant, informative link that was added by a slashdot editor into the write-up! I was flabbergasted. Yet the subject of climate change data seemed to be so exciting that no one even noticed the first ever instance of slashdot editor researching a story.

"virtual" robbery? (2, Insightful)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269442)

Seems to me the theft was real, not virtual. Ah, marketing terms ...

Well done to all involved. (4, Insightful)

saintm (142527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269460)

This 'story' should be held up as an example of all that is wrong with the slashdot story submission process.

Re:Well done to all involved. (0, Troll)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269882)

As the way you're currently modded (Troll) should be held up as an example of what happens to your comment when people simply disagree with it.

Who tagged this 'isk'? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269480)

I really wouldn't steak 'isk' if I were you. The Icelandic Kronor isn't worth nearly as much as it use to be.

Re:Who tagged this 'isk'? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269570)

Isk is also the in-game currency of EVE Online. CCP, the makers of EVE Online, are Icelandic. It would seem they didn't have much imagination when it came to naming their in-game currency.

Re:Who tagged this 'isk'? (1)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269628)

No not too creative, but Inter-Stellar Kredit seems seems to be a good name for money in a space themed game, with a nod to their country.

Re:Who tagged this 'isk'? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269684)

Isk is also the in-game currency of EVE Online.

Look there! Up, in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane!

W h o o s h !

No, it's the joke going over your head.

Re:Who tagged this 'isk'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30271732)

Yea, yea. But your joke wasn't.

If only it were a band of Orcs (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269582)

Then Stross could be pleased that one of his novels had become reality in record time.

There was no arrest for virtual killing (5, Informative)

bickle (101226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269596)

"in October last year a Japanese woman was arrested by police after allegedly hacking her virtual husband "to death""

Ok, let's get this corrected. There was no arrest for virtual murder. Repeat: There was no arrest for virtual murder. The woman was arrested for hacking into someone else's account. What she did in game is irrelevant and has just been repeated and twisted over and over for the sake of a sensationalistic "news" story.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/10/woman-arrested/ [wired.com]

I keep hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger (2, Funny)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269686)

"You have just been erased."

Horrible Summary (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30269604)

Absolutely horrible summary but assuming that it's at least correct in saying that he stole login details for this online service then it's right to say he broke the law in regards to gaining unauthorised access to computer systems which exists in many different forms all throughout the world but would most likely be treated in the same way. I don't see why posters here don't seem understand that. Seeing as this appears to be in UK, the Computer Misuse Act states:

1:1) A person is guilty of an offence if: a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in a computer; b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorized; and c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that this is the case.

Not sure why people would somehow consider this out of the ordinary other then it happens to be that the criminal behaviour towards this type of service in question hasn't had much attention from law enforcement.

hrmph (0)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30269668)

While I'm sure this guy was a real douche nozzle, I'd like to see people who steal real assets go to jail before the people who steal fake assets. International bankers rather than basement dwellers, ok?

Not robbery unless something was taken (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270058)

Doesn't sound like robbery, unless the usernames were taken. If that is the case, how do these users even know their usernames anymore? "I'd like to report a stolen username, but since it was stolen, I can't tell you what the username was. If I knew it, it I wouldn't be reporting it as stolen, now would I?"

Re:Not robbery unless something was taken (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270302)

username = account

Hey, important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30270236)

I don't think the EVE Online one was the CEO. I think you have the wrong guy in the summary. IIRC, it was some player who played at being a bank CEO, or something. Anyway, just wanted to let you know you slandered a man.

runescape is a scam (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270532)

I unwittingly let my son play runescape, and even dumber paid for extra "gold".

here is how that process works.

1. pay someone for gold.
2. meet that person in the game, get the gold
3. get robbed of the gold within minutes by another player
4. repeat (if dumb enough to buy more gold)

I feel these online games exist for one reason, to create an environment where users can be scammed.

Re:runescape is a scam (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272036)

Why would you expect buying gold against the ToS to be a completely legitimate deal?

Re:runescape is a scam (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272350)

well, I admit I did not read that in the TOS

had I been smart enough to read that I would certainly have never made such transactions

my opinion stands that these games exist solely to create an environment for enabling theft.

Virtual Murder (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270636)

Is she going to be given the choice of:
1. Virtual lethal injection. (virus)
2. Virtual firing squad. (One of those FPS games seems relevent).
3. Virtual hanging. (Obama's good at this. Just ask any banker)
4. Electricution. (Throw her computer into the bathtub)
5. Virtual stoning. (tetris)
6. Bore them to death . (Make them read the entire health care bills, from both houses)

this doesn't make any sense (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270698)

This case must have been really old or something. For years RS has had a trade limit and bank PIN that you enter with the mouse. So if you steal someone's account, you can't get into their bank to get any of their items. You also can't offload them onto another account because the 15 minute trade limit is around 1/100th the cost of anything remotely worth stealing. There is literally no way to move expensive items to another account without paying what they're worth to the owner. So he clearly didn't "steal" any items, just the account, which has been made completely pointless.

hmm (1)

davidmcg (796487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270798)

This sort of thing is happening more often these days. It is a sign that virtual worlds are overlapping the real world and is only going to get more prolific as more and more people spend their lifes in virtual worlds and virtual worlds become more indistinguishable from the real world. Next thing you know you'll be arrested as a war criminal for that mass-massacre you carried out in Battlefield 2. Seriously, it's almost as if the worlds created by Neal Stephenson or William Gibson are slowly coming true.

Eve Online is a "trading" game? (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30270984)

When I saw that this idiot called EVE Online a "trading" game, I realized I don't need to read any of the crap linked in the summary.

If someone can't get such a simple fact right, I am afraid what else he didn't get right...

Re:Eve Online is a "trading" game? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272038)

Wasn't it the CEO of a virtual company in Eve Online, not the CEO of the company itself? Or am I getting my incidents mixed up?

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30271290)

WoW is a fantasy trading game by the standards of this article.

Identity theft is not virtual (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30271348)

Stealing virtual items in a MMORPG is not a crime, and at most a violation of the terms of service.

Stealing identities by way of online passwords is not a virtual crime, it's a very normal, plain computer crime.

Another 'Get a Life' Scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272456)

Most Gaming owners would pretty much just ban the player. This virtual world crap is getting out of hand. A woman arrested for hacking a virtual man to death? Down payments on REAL real estate?? If ever I run across this crap, I'll make it a point to smack the living sh!t out of whoever it is. I agree: Stop wasting the REAL taxpayer's money. The UK already is a police state with the politicians running amok and need to be silenced themselves.
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