Hacker steals billions of Zynga game chips

  • A British hacker has admitted stealing 400 billion virtual poker chips from Zynga, valued at as much as $12 million.

    Ashley Mitchell, 29, of Devon, hacked into the company's servers in summer 2009 by posing as a site administrator. He then transferred the poker chips into a series of fake Facebook accounts.

    He sold around a third of the chips to other users for $86,000. At the price he was selling them, though, they'd have netted him around $300,000.

    According to local paper This is South Devon, prosecutor Gareth Evans said that, if sold legitimately by Zynga, the chips would have been worth $12 billion.

    But it raises a tricky legal point - after all, Zynga could always issue more chips to replace those which were 'stolen' - and, unlike with banknotes, Mitchell didn't end up with anything he could use elsewhere.

    However, Evans argued that there was a potential financial loss for the company as it might lose legitimate customers as a result.

    Mitchell's lawyer said that the crimes were committed while Mitchell was trapped by a gambling addiction.

    He pled guilty to four charges of converting criminal property, along with violating the Computer Misuse Act.

    Sentencing is next month, but Mitchell is expected to go down - he was already bound by a 40-week suspended sentence for hacking into the local council three years ago.

Related Stories

For Dirt Bike Lovers Who Want To Look Better On The Track

Who regulates online casinos?

Mobile app development gets smarter in 2017