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infosec-news: [ISN] Hacker Steals $12 Million In Zynga Poker Chi

[ISN] Hacker Steals $12 Million In Zynga Poker Chips

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Thu Feb 03 2011 - 07:51:00 GMT

By Gregory Pleshaw
All Facebook
February 2nd, 2011

A hacker in Devonshire, England pled guilty to stealing an alleged $12
million in online poker chips from Zygna’s Texas Hold ‘Em on Facebook,
and he faces possible jail time.

In in Exeter Crown Court, presided over Judge Philip Wassal, 29-year-old
Ashley Mitchell admitted hacking into the online account of the social
gaming giant. He stole 400 billion virtual poker chips, which the
company values at $12 million. The hacker turned to the black market to
fence the virtual cash, netting $85,870 (£53,000) before his arrest.
He would’ve made $298,117 (£184,000) if he had a chance to sell all of
his chips at the prices he was setting.

While prosecutor Gareth Evans admitted that Zynga had not been deprived
of any real goods by the theft, the theft was similar to a real life one
in that both an online maker of virtual currency and a national mint can
both “print” new money if old money is lost, stolen, or loses value –
shedding an interesting light on how currencies actually work in the
real world.

Evans also said that it was difficult to place a hard value on what
Mitchell stole but countered that had Zynga sold the chips the value
would’ve come to $12 million.


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