WoW Hacker Group Mastermind Sentenced To Two Years In Chinese Prison

WoW Hacker Group Mastermind Sentenced To Two Years In Chinese Prison

Late last week, in Zhejiang province's Songyang county court, 10 men were sentenced to prison terms of up to two years. These men didn't commit super heinous crimes, but they did commit a terrible one: they were found guilty of hacking and defrauding over 10,000 World of Warcraft accounts.

The sentence hearing and the results were posted by Zhejiang Online. The culprits, five of them named Chen, Ma, Zhu, Zhi, and Wang, were arrested earlier this year for hacking and defrauding over 10,000 Chinese gamers through a series of online transactions.

Basically, Chen had set up a small workspace where he and some of his compatriots stole WoW login information. Well, "stole" isn't the right term, as Chen and his cohorts didn't exactly go out and steal the information: Chen had purchased stolen WoW accounts by various shady means for about $US1 a piece. After receiving these accounts, Chen proceeded to empty them out, selling the accumulated gold and gear for about $US3 per account.

Eventually, after learning how to flip WoW accounts, Zhu started his own "studio" and he hired some workers to help him. After a series of complaints an investigation was launched, and it was discovered that together, Zhu's and Chen's groups flipped and stole from over 11,500 WoW accounts, earning them at least $US10,800 in profit.

After being caught, Chen and his cohorts were charged with various technobabble crimes. A lengthy trial later, Chen was sentenced to two years in jail and fined $US8000, whereas the rest were sentenced to little under two years and fined around $US1000. All of their ill-gotten gains were confiscated by the state as well as all the computer equipment that they used to get them.

It's unknown what exactly happens to cybercriminals in Chinese jails, but having heard stories from American foreign service officers based in China, Chinese jail's a place I wouldn't wish on most people.

So far there's no word on how the trial and sentence would affect the WoW players affected by Chen and his cohorts.

游戏工作室盗用1万魔兽帐号 老板获刑2年 [ Zhejiang Online via Tencent]

Top Photo: Gamingcorner.NL

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian Internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Eric is a Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him @[email protected] or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie.


    Hackers are children, children who push buttons but nonetheless are innocent. Get a life, Blizzard.

      Blizzard wasn't mentioned in this article, I think China did it because they where dealing in virtual stolen goods.

      I don't think you understand the definition of the word innocent...

      pro tip, someone who steals thousands of dollars of stuff from thousands of people is not innocent, and while I agree two years in prison is perhaps a tad harsh the fact of the matter is that they have proven themselves unable to live with the rest of society without stealing from other people to turn a profit. removing them from society for a while is probably not a bad idea.

      although I also believe that china needs to tame their prison system, prison shouldn't be fun, but it should be humane. and I don't think it was blizzard who sentenced them, I'm pretty sure it was the Chinese government.

    So they go to an actual prison, and not one of those Australian holiday camps disguised as prisons?

    So, "hacker" now extends to people that can purchase WoW accounts online? I remember when it took some technical knowhow to be called a hacker. Unless there's something I'm missing, these guys are just digital burglers.

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