A Chinese man extorts $32,000 from companies in order to pay for expensive MMORPG items before being arrested.
There’s no denying that playing MMORPGs can get pricey — especially when you’re playing a free-to-play game that requires you to buy store items in order to progress. Perhaps this is a sign that — in some cases — it’s just a bit too pricey.
According to a report by the Chinese network Phoenix Television on iFeng, a 24-year-old man has been arrested after extorting $32,000 from various companies in order to pay for armor for his MMORPG character.
The man, surnamed Zhang, is reported as being a hacker who had dropped out of high school and moved to the Guangxi region. He spent most of his time at an internet cafe — where he worked — playing MMOs. When Zhang found himself without enough money to purchase an expensive set of in-game armor, he resorted to hacking the game in order to steal other players accounts. He would then use their money to buy equipment for his own account.
As Zhang learned more about hacking, he became bolder and began extorting money from web companies based in Guangx. He started by taking down a web design company and demanding a ransom of $8,000 from the owner if they wanted it restored. His method was to bring down a site and within 24 hours claim responsibility for the attack before demanding a ransom. If the company failed to pay, the site would stay shut down.
Throughout 2012, Zhang managed to extort a total of $32,000 from seven different companies.
Police were finally tipped off to Zhang’s identity as the hacker after he attacked a game company’s website. Police worked with the game company to track Zhang’s bank account resulting in his arrest in an internet cafe in Qingdao.