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Man arrested for online gaming piracy in Hong Kong

Carol Ko | June 29, 2009
Game servers had been hacked to allow online registration and gameplay.

HONG KONG, 29 JUNE 2009 Hong Kong customs officers have shut down a pirated online gaming operation, arresting a 34-year-old man and seizing seven Internet servers and five computers worth HK$77,000 (US$ 9,935) from an apartment.

Officers raided the flat last Monday (June 23) after receiving reports from a copyright owner who suspected hacked game servers had been set up for Internet users. It is the first infringement case of its kind.

After receiving the complaint, officers found a website which allowed Internet users to download the pirated programme of an online game. Once it was downloaded, the user's computer would be connected to the hacked game servers for online registration and gameplay.

The website had been operating for more than seven months and had 30,000 registered members. Its operation is similar to that of the original game. The only difference being the game members of the counterfeit version had to deposit money to a bank account to buy points for virtual weapons. The points were much cheaper from this source than from the original game.

To evade detection, the parties who set this up registered the IP (Internet protocol) address of the website in the US, while the IP address of servers for storage and distribution were registered in Hong Kong.

The arrested man has been released on HK$5,000 (US$645) bail.


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