The biggest audience for Runescape


Mr Gerhard said its efforts to tackle gold-farming may have forced the thieves to try a different approach. “We have pinned down and identified the handful of ring leaders and we are going after them with both barrels,” Mark Gerhard, chief executive of Jagex told BBC News. “Any online games company will tell you that as soon as the game has value, there’s a very small foreign element that tries to exploit that value,” he said. Mr Gerhard said the arrest on 24 November was not the result of something that happened the day before. It was one result, he said, of a long term investigation that had sought out those behind the phishing attack that caught out a “few thousand” Runescape players. The biggest audience for Runescape is in theUSandUKand Mr Gerhard said it was working with forces in both nations to track down the virtual thieves. He predicted that there would be more arrests as Jagex knew the handful of people behind the crimes and where they were based.

“Once you close one vulnerability you move the attack surface to another part,” he said. Jagex’s efforts to tackle farming had removed 90% of the problem, said Mr Gerhard. “They were going directly after the user credentials and trying to get at the wealth that way,” he said. “Players invest years of time and effort into developing their Runescape character so the theft of a Runescape account shouldn’t be treated differently to the theft of any other valuable possessions such as a games console, television or car,” he said.

Alisdair Faulkner, a computer security expert at ThreatMetrix, said it was seeing many more hi-tech thieves turn to stealing virtual rather than real goods. Virtual goods were much easier to launder and dispose of than tangible items such as flat screens and computers, he said. It was a particular problem inAsiawhere the sales of virtual game goods were well established. If you need any gold you can contract us and we are glad to communicate with you.



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