Gaming: An Increasingly Lucrative Cybercriminal Opportunity

by Michela Menting | 4Q 2016 | IN-4344

On November 14, a Texas jury convicted a man for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to an online game. The unsealed FBI indictment states that the defendant, alongside three other men, stole in-game currency in the online multiplayer football game, FIFA Ultimate Team. EA gives participating players virtual FIFA coins after each completed game. The four men were able to reverse engineer the game’s source code, creating a game simulator (using Xbox development kits) that sent fake completed match statuses to EA servers, which in return granted them coins. The group then sold the coins on black market forums in Europe and Asia. The FBI alleges the group, who called themselves RANE Developments, made between US$15 to $18 million since operations started in 2013. The FBI seized millions of dollars in cash, properties, and luxury cars last year as part of the raid. Sentencing for the men will take place in February 2017.

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