Feeds

Christmas ruined for 2,100 sex offenders booted off online games

Good.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Thousands of online gaming accounts linked to convicted sex offenders were shut down in the US this month.

Operation: Game Over resulted in the closure of 2,100 accounts registered through Gaia Online, NCSOFT, Funcom, THQ and other gaming platforms. Earlier this year 3,500 accounts were deleted from Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group, Warner Brothers and Sony as part of the same clampdown.

The action was spearheaded by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to prevent sex abusers from grooming children for subsequent abuse via online gaming. In a statement, Schneiderman said the action would making online gaming a safer venue for children.

"We must ensure that online video game platforms do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators," Schneiderman said. "That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming systems as a vehicle to prey on underage victims."

Under the New York State’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), convicted sex offenders must register all of their email addresses, screen names and other internet aliases. The availability of this information made the crackdown possible. The operation affected Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, World of Warcraft, Gaia Online and many other popular multi-player gaming accounts.

Online video games allow users to send messages to each other anonymously, a feature parents may be unaware of even though it has the potential for misuse.

In 2011, a 19-year-old man in Monroe County, NY, was indicted on sexual abuse charges after allegedly meeting and abusing a 12-year-old boy he befriended over a period of three months using Xbox Live. The adult invited the lad over to his house where the sex assault occurred, according to police.

Laura A. Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center, praised the clampdown: "This is a groundbreaking effort that keeps the online community safer for our children, and sends a strong message that sexual predators can’t hide behind anonymous profiles online to prey on victims anymore.”

New York State has more than 34,000 registered sex offenders, according to official records. ®

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.