OVER 400 BILLION poker chips could probably stretch to the Moon and back but when they are virtual they are easy to steal, or so convicted hacker Ashley Mitchell thought.
According to the BBC Mitchell used that highly secure website Facebook to try to launder the 400 billion chips he had taken from online gaming firm Zynga's website.
At Exeter Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the online theft and can now expect a hefty jail sentence, as he was already on a suspended sentence for hacking. That earlier conviction was for hacking computers at a local council. No UFO research defence there, then.
Before his arrest Mitchell had turned some of his virtual chips into £53,000 of real money, but his total haul from Zynga was actually worth £7.4 million. He gained access to the Zynga site by posing as an administrator of its poker game on Facebook. He also used the world's biggest marketing database to siphon the chips through various accounts.
Part of Mitchell's defence was that he had become obsessed with the Zynga game and online poker in general, but we think he was just obsessed with the cash. µ