Hacker pleads guilty to stealing 400 billion virtual poker chips

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UK hacker Ashley Mitchell has admitted to stealing online poker chips from online gaming firm Zynga and laundering them through several facebook accounts in the hope of evading detection, after penetrating the poker game system.



The poker chips that were siphoned off had a face value of $12m (£7.4m) however Mr Mitchell only made £53,000 from the chips he stole after barely managing to sell about on third before he was caught.

From June to September 2009, Mitchell was posing as an administrator on their site, in order to gain access to poker game computer systems, without been noticed by Zynga, once admin rights were gained Mitchell was able to manipulate the values, steal them and sell them.

At Exeter Crown Court, Mr Mitchell pleaded guilty to five charges brought under the Computer Misuse Act and the Proceeds from Crime Act. He was remanded until a date was fixed for sentencing. Mr Mitchell also stated that he had resorted to hacking after becoming fixated with online gambling and the Zynga Poker game in particular.

This though, isn’t the first time Mr Mitchell has been in trouble, he got a suspended sentence in 2008, for hacking into the Website of his former workplace, the Tobray Council, and awarding himself $3500. Judge Philip Wassall said Mr Mitchell would face a lengthy prison sentence for the theft, especially as the crime was carried out while Mr Mitchell was under a suspended sentence for the attack on Tobray council computers.

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