British Zynga hacker jailed for two years

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Stole $11.4m of virtual chips.

A man who hacked Facebook game developer Zynga, stealing the identities of two employees, has been jailed for two years.

Ashley Mitchell stole around 400 billion credits from the US firm and sold them on Facebook – the same site the games were played on.

The 29-year-old from Devon used fake Facebook accounts and a front company to sell the credits for less than their face value in order to fund his gambling addiction, Exeter Crown Court heard.

The chips were believed to be worth over £7 million ($11.4 million).

James Taghdissian, prosecuting, told Exeter crown court the figure was based on a Zynga estimate of what “they would have lost if all the chips were successfully sold on,” the Guardian reported.

“It was clear there had been a systematic approach adopted in probing and accessing Zynga,” Taghdissian said.

“He made determined and repeated efforts to attack Zynga's systems.”

Judge Philip Wassall said Mitchell had used “a considerable degree of expertise and persistence” to compromise Zynga’s systems.

He said "people rely on the security of systems" and anyone who came before the courts who bypassed security controls for their own profit "can expect custody.”

Zynga is the company behind a range of popular titles on Facebook, including FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

The case highlighted two forms of threat businesses faced: targeted attacks and social engineering scams.

The two were combined by hackers in recent attacks exploiting a vulnerability affecting Adobe Flash Player, Reader and Acrobat.

A small number of targeted organisations were sent emails containing a Microsoft Excel document with a corrupted Flash file embedded inside.

This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing


British Zynga hacker jailed for two years
 
 
 
Top Stories
Westpac committed to core banking plan
[Blog post] Now with leadership.
 
The True Cost of BYOD - 2014 survey
Twelve months on from our first study, is BYOD a better proposition?
 
Photos: Unboxing the Magnus supercomputer
Pawsey's biggest beast slots into place.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  29%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  27%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  22%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  4%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 1142

Vote