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China jails World of Warcraft cybercrime group

Published time: December 26, 2013 12:41
World of Warcraft (Image from

World of Warcraft (Image from

A real prison term for selling gold and guns in the online game World of Warcraft? Easy answer: ten men have been sentenced to up to two years behind bars in China for taking over 11,500 World of Warcraft accounts.

Thus, they breached the country’s regulations banning invasive access of “ordinary computer information systems”.

The hijackers didn’t hack the accounts: instead, they bought the login information via underground markets for $1 a piece. Then, the thieves flipped gold and gear, selling it to other gamers, and earned at least $10,800 in profit, according to Zhejiang Online website.

The Chinese authorities confiscated all the profit, as well as computer devices used for the criminal activities, after the ring’s sentencing.

Chen, the leader of the group, was sentenced to two years behind bars and an $8,000 fine, while his accomplices got slightly under two years in jail and $1,000 fines.

The World of Warcraft is one of the leading online games in terms of attracting users. As of November 2013, the game’s publisher Activision-Blizzard disclosed the number of subscribers - 7.6 million.

The hacking of World of Warcraft accounts has been a major problem, mainly in China and Russia, with the compromised game account costing $10 (compared to $6-$12 for a compromised computer).

China is currently experiencing major cybercrime problems, with 700,000 Chinese users becoming victims of internet crime daily, according to a government report published in January. Cybercrime cost the country around $46.4 billion last year.

In late 2012, China passed a regulation that aims to strengthen protection of web users’ personal information, but it’s far from a comprehensive cybercrime law.

Comments (7)


Wincy Wong 27.12.2013 06:06

Proud_Atheist 26.12.2013 13:01

It seems that the Chinese are smart in many things. I am glad they have a smart government too.


I wish they were really smart. 99% of their doings are for shows instead of educating people or fix the massive wealth gap. They failed to deal with the basic needs of the country, just care about what others can see.
If Chinese were better educated or would spend their massive amount of money on benefits, they wouldn't have to be so petty that they try to work at black markets, or even steal game stuff for money. They even tried to steal my WoW account!


g br 27.12.2013 02:03

China is too busy harboring their chinese citizens who plundered the US stock exchanges for over 3-4 trillion since 1999, but they go after a $10k petty theft. Nice motives.


Dominick Agapov 26.12.2013 16:38

Dark Vader 26.12.2013 16:11




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