Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Up to 10,000 virtual objects stolen from Habbo Hotel
From http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Up+to+10000+virtual+objects+stolen+from+Habbo+Hotel/1135257271195 "Thieves believed to be between 16 and 19 years old
The Habbo Hotel, a virtual online world favoured by many Finnish schoolchildren and young people, may have had up to 10,000 virtual objects stolen from it. Police suspect that several people in a number of communities have been involved with the virtual theft. Police have conducted a number of house searches in Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Masku, Raisio, and Pori. Each of the communities have at least one suspect, according to Marko Levonen of the Satakunta Police. The suspects are between 16 and 19 years old. Levonen says that it was not hard to find them.
“I cannot say that they would have covered their tracks very much.”
However, he will not say to what an extent the young people had understood that they were actually breaking the law.
“Most of them certainly have understood that they have done wrong.”
The suspects face charges of crimes including data break-ins and violation of communications confidentiality. The suspects are believed to have acquired at least 400 user codes and passwords, with which they have logged on to the service and exchanged goods. Levonen says that the goods have been stolen for use in the hotel’s virtual world, and it is also possible that some of the virtual goods have been exchanged for real money. Exchanging virtual goods for money is not allowed under the rules of the Habbo Hotel, but it happens constantly. On Tuesday, a Habbo Hotel figure was on sale on the Finnish auction site Huuto.net for a starting price of EUR 65. Police say that it is quite possible that new crimes will emerge. Those who are believed to have been the victims of virtual theft are to be contacted by e-mail.