Feeds

Gamer embezzles virtual cash to settle real debts

Eve Online banker does a runner

3 Big data security analytics techniques

As if high-profile investment scandals and the economic downturn weren't bad enough here on Earth, now folks have to deal with it outside our galaxy. Virtually, at least.

Impoverished from real-world debts, the CEO of the largest player-run financial institution in the sci-fi MMO Eve Online stole thousands of dollars worth of the game's currency and traded it for real money on the black market.

Reuters reports a 27-year-old Australian tech worker identified only as Richard - who goes by the handles Ricdic and Ricdics on Eve - helmed the reputable player-run savings and loan "business" Ebank when he embezzled about 200 billion Intersteller Kredits (the game's currency) from fellow players.

He then broke the game's terms of service by exchanging the virtual money for AU$6,300 (£3,050, $US5,000) from other players.

"It was a very on the spot decision" he told Reuters in an interview. Richard said he used the money to cover a deposit on the house and expenses related to his son's medical problems.

Other Eve players who are in charge of Ebank say on the game's official board Richard stole roughly 8.6 per cent of the virtual institution's 2.3 trillion in deposits.

When the scandal broke within Eve, customers made a run on the bank, worried they would lose the money they had deposited.

Although Richard was banned from the game, the punishment wasn't due to the theft itself. Eve's developers at Iceland-based CCP Games have a notoriously laissez-faire attitude to what players can and will do to each other within the confines of the game. Player-organized corporations and alliances are often involved with massive infiltrations and heists, and virtual crime extends to in-game piracy, ransom, and assassination. Richard was ultimately sent packing from the Eve universe for exchanging the stolen credits for real money.

"I'm not proud of it at all, that's why I didn't brag about it. But you know, if I had to do it again, I probably would've chosen the same path based on the same situation," he said.

Ebank claims the bank run has mostly ended and are "very well capitalized" at the moment. Richard has no plans to return to the game and will focus on family responsibilities in real-life. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.