Feeds

Hacker admits stealing $12m worth of chips from Zynga

Do not pass go, do not collect stolen booty

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A UK-based IT expert has admitted hacking into the servers of game developer Zynga and stealing $12m worth of gaming chips, according to news reports.

Ashley Mitchell, 29, of Paignton, Devon, pleaded guilty to five charges on Wednesday in Exeter Crown Court. Judge Philip Wassall told him: “It is inevitable you are going to prison.” Mitchell, a former Torbay Council worker, was remanded into custody.

According to published news reports, Mitchell was able to gain unauthorized access Zynga's system by posing as one of the company's site administrators. He then transferred 400 billion gaming chips into fake Facebook accounts he set up. The price of the stolen booty would have come to $12m if Zynga had issued it, prosecutors said.

Mitchell proceeded to sell about a third of his take for about £53,000. If he had managed to sell the rest at the same discounted rate, his take would have come to about £184,000, a prosecutor told the court.

Mitchell's attorney said the crimes were committed when his client was “wrestling with a gambling addiction” that resulted in him spending £3,000 on online games. He said Mitchell was now drawing a six-figure salary from a Facebook application called Gambino Poker and asked the judge to consider allowing the defendant to repay the £184,000 over two years.

Mitchell was already given a 40-week suspended prison sentence for hacking into computers at Torbay Council. Sentencing is scheduled for next month.

More from The Herald Express and Small World News Service are here and here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.