We've all been affected by account theft in some way. Maybe your account has never been hacked, but I'd be willing to bet a guild mate or friend has had to deal with this annoyance. Blizzard has a pretty smooth system in place to fix these things for the account holders, but it doesn't stop it from being profitable for the hackers involved. They still get their gold in the end. Would you wish prison time on these people?
Last week, a group of 10 Chinese men were sentenced to prison for stealing from a total of 11,500 World of Warcraft accounts. The leader of the group, Chen, purchased hacked WoW accounts for $1 each and emptied them, selling the resulting gold for an average of $3 per account. Eventually one of Chen's accomplices left to start his own hacking "studio" to flip WoW accounts with several employees. A series of complaints led to an investigation and subsequent trial where Chen was found guilty, fined $8,000, and sentenced to 2 years in prison. The others involved were fined $1,000 and sentenced to just under 2 years in prison. Their $10,800 in profits and computer equipment used was also confiscated by the authorities.
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