A British hacker has been sentenced to two years in jail after being found guilty of breaking into the computer systems of gaming company Zynga and stealing billions of gaming chips worth more than £7m.
Ashley Mitchell, 29, admitted five charges of hacking and theft at Exeter Crown Court. He reportedly broke into Zynga by exploiting vulnerabilities in the firm's site before pilfering 400bn in gaming chips, some of which he then sold on.
The court was reportedly told that Mitchell was suffering with a gambling addiction at the time of the crime, and managed to make over £53,000 from the sale.
Zynga is the manufacturer of popular games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars.
Judge Philip Wassall told Mitchell in sentencing that he had used "a considerable degree of expertise and persistence" to hack Zynga's system, according to The Guardian.
"From internet banking to major international transactions, people rely on the security of systems and anyone who comes before the courts who has gone through these security systems for their own ends can expect custody," he added.
"The sentence has to reflect the impact on public confidence in security systems and online business when someone breaches security in this way."
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