02Feb
Zynga Poker Chips Stolen by Hacker

I’m pretty sure that everyone who has a Facebook account knows of the company named Zynga. After all, it’s only the company that brought us such viral games as Farmville and Café World. It also brought us the free poker sensation, Texas Hold’em. Well – the word free doesn’t quite cut it. Sure, you can play the game, but you get a lot of added perks if you buy poker chips from them, and some people love the game enough to do so. As it turned out, though, one hacker decided to steal these virtual chips and sell them on the black market. He stole an estimated $12 million worth of Poker chips, though of course he sold them for a lot less than that.

Virtually Stealing

There has always been some sort of great debate about stealing virtual items. When a hacker goes in and takes someone else’s virtual item, everyone’s always wondering if he or she is really liable, since the item doesn’t really exist in the first place. It’s just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. In Zynga’s case, their chips can always be recreated any time they wish. Yet, there’s a problem here. The theft has caused several repercussions to the company. For one thing, it lessens their credibility in terms of safety and security. How can people trust Zynga now that it has been hacked into? It spells really bad about the company’s future, especially if the rumors are true that they’re planning to up the ante once US law opens up a bit more to online poker. This hacker might just have single-handedly foiled the company’s big plans. So who was the culprit, you ask?

About Ashley Mitchell

Ashley Mitchell, a 29 year old computer hacker, has admitted to breaking into the system that belongs to Zynga and stealing a whopping 400 billion poker chips. Had Zynga been able to sell them all, the chips would have been worth a very sizeable $12 million. Apparently, Mitchell had been able to sell those chips at the rate of £430 per billion. There’s actually an act called the “Computer Misuse Act” which Mitchell violated rather blatantly. This isn’t his first offense either. Of course, Mitchell has to face the consequences of his wrong doings, so the court threw five charges at him. He pleaded guilty to all of them. The effects this incident will have on Zynga and its prospects is yet to be known, but one thing’s for sure, it certainly can’t be good.

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