Thief Steals from Zynga, Gets Two Years in Jail

Thief Steals from Zynga, Gets Two Years in Jail


An IT business man named Ashley Mitchell (29) has been sentenced to jail after he hacked into the accounts of two Zynga employees and stole virtual poker chips worth an estimated $12 Million. It took Zynga awhile to figure out who was doing it, as Mitchell was actually very careful, using a neighbors wi-fi and computer to perform the deed. Initially the two employees who had their accounts stolen were suspected, and then the neighbors computer was confiscated as authorities tried to identify the hacker.

Mitchell was finally caught when he slipped up when he tried to hack in again, but was still signed into his Facebook profile. In two months time he had made £53,612 after selling a third of the chips. The judge told Mitchell;

“You deprived Zynga of income. It is quite clear you used a considerable degree of expertise and persistence to hack into the system. It is a considerable aggravating feature that someone hacks into systems in this way when so much business and personal finance is done using electronic means.

From internet banking to major international transactions, people rely on the security of systems and anyone who comes before the courts who has gone through these security systems from their own ends can expect custody. The sentence has to reflect the impact on public confidence in security systems and online business when someone breaches security in this way.”

[The Guardian]