Johnny Law cracks down on World of Warcraft crime ring and botnet creator

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft may have just gotten a little bit safer

aCyber crime doesn't pay - that's the lesson authorities around the world are sending this week as numerous cyber criminals received lengthy jail sentences.

On December 24 we learned that the member of a World of Warcraft crime ring have been jailed in China for hijacking other players' game accounts.

The same day, authorities in Slovenia sentenced Matjaž Škorjanc, the creator of one of the world's largest botnets, to five years in prison.

Škorjanc was also fined €4,000 ($5,472, £3,347, AU$6,131).

Happy holidays?

Škorjanc's "Mariposa" botnet is estimated to have infected 12.7 million computers in more than 190 countries.

Cyber criminals would pay him for access, then use infected computers to steal user data, create email spam, or issue DDoS attacks against websites.

Both Škorjanc's lawyers and prosecutors will appeal, as both parties are unsatisfied with the court's ruling - though obviously for different reasons.

Talk about a raid

The World of Warcraft hackers, meanwhile, include ten men who were each sentenced to up to two years.

Combined they're estimated to have hijacked 11,500 other users' WoW accounts by purchasing log-in information from black markets.

They then sold hijacked accounts' equipment and treasures off to other users for money, allegedly making at least $10,800.

World of Warcraft is one of the most popular games in the world.

Chinese authorities confiscated all the ill-gotten funds, plus the offenders' computers; they also fined the ringleader $8,000 and fined the other members $1,000 each.

Via Venture Beat (1, 2)

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.