Feeds

Hacker admits stealing $12m worth of chips from Zynga

Do not pass go, do not collect stolen booty

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.