An internet cafe webmaster in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, Guangdong, was recently arrested for stealing user information, passwords, and money from the very same internet cafe he was working in. The method of his crime was something that seems like something lifted from the 1999 movie Office Space.
The internet cafe webmaster, surnamed Zhang, and an accomplice stole over $US16,000 from some of the regulars at his cafe, as well as the cafe itself. Basically what Zhang did was he created a program where the computer would siphon money from a cafe's account every time a customer recharged their membership (a la Office Space).
Zhang, a technical school graduate, who had only started working in the internet cafe two years ago, suddenly came up with an idea to steal money. Internet cafe employees do not make a lot of money.
For example, whenever someone charged 100 yuan to their account, his program would basically take 50 yuan and put it into an account maintained by Zhang and his cohort. How Zhang got away with it was even more ingenious. Zhang put out a sign in the internet cafe stating that those who recharged their accounts by 50 rmb would get 50 yuan worth of service for free. By moving around the time paid for and the funds of various other customers around, no one noticed there was any money missing -- not even the cafe itself. Over the course of a year the cafe started seeing a decline in revenue but it was thought to be caused by a decline in customers.
No one really knew what was going on until Zhang decided to get greedy. A long time patron charged 5 yuan from his net cafe membership card and found that his card was suddenly filled with 101 yuan. Being honest, the patron took it up with cafe staff who then found out that Zhang was messing around with the cafe's account database. Zhang and his accomplice are now in police custody for fraud and await sentencing from the court.
网吧网管改网吧后台数据 盗窃网吧十万元 [People's Daily]
Top photo: Eric Jou/Kotaku