Threats, Cybercrime

UK man pleads guilty to hacking RuneScape accounts, selling virtual items

December 6, 2013

A 21-year-old UK man was charged with two counts of unauthorized computer access after pleading guilty to hacking RuneScape accounts, stealing virtual items from players of the popular role-playing game, and then selling the video game goods to other players for real money.

Steven Burrell, of Northampton, said he was seeking to pay off gambling debts, according to a report, but instead he earned himself 12 months of community service, 150 hours of unpaid work and a roughly $260 fine. He was also forced to turn over two computers, on which databases and password-cracking software were discovered.

Burrell accessed and modified 105 player accounts on 3,872 occasions during the course of a 16-month span, according to the report. He said he earned roughly $4,500.

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