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Man mugs online game characters

Sells virtual goodies for cash

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A Chinese exchange student has been arrested in Kawaga prefecture, southern Japan, on charges of using software "bots" to mug characters from Lineage II and then selling the ill-gotten gains for cash, the Mainichi Daily News reports via New Scientist.

The audacious blag relieved several gamers of desirable online goods, possibly including the "Earring of Wisdom" or the "Shield of Nightmare". The mugger was an invincible character controlled by a software bot, and the stolen stuff offloaded via a Japanese auction site, Lineage II publisher NCsoft claims.

NS quotes security guru Bruce Schneier as noting in his blog: "I regularly say that every form of theft and fraud in the real world will eventually be duplicated in cyberspace. Perhaps every method of stealing real money will eventually be used to steal imaginary money, too."

Indeed, perhaps in future Lineage II characters would do well to arm themselves with the "Taser of Doom" and the "Pepper Spray of Infinite Repel". ®

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