Virtual thief arrested in real life world
For the first time in Dutch history the police has arrested a 17-years old suspect because of theft of virtual goods on the internet. The boy would have stolen furniture out of the virtual Habbo Hotel. Habbo Hotel is a popular website in the Netherlands (and 28 other countries) for children and teenagers between eight en sixteen years old. They can walk through the virtual hotel, chat with other guests and furnish their own hotelroom. The furniture can be bought with real money.
The arrested suspect and four fellow-suspects are under the suspicion of electronic break-in, vandalism of data, handling stolen goods and theft. They would have hacked hotmail-accounts of other young persons to overtake their usernames and passwords to enter the Habbo Hotel. Beside of hacking they would also have used fake-websites to collect log in information in order to steal furniture from Habbo-users. In all the value of the stolen goods is assessed at 4.000 euro. The police drew up five crime reports. The research was done by the constabulary of Amsterdam-Amstelland, as the company behind the Habbo Hotel is situated in Amsterdam.
The Dutch newspaper Trouw wrote in an article about this case that Habbo Hotel claims to have 7 million users in 29 countries. The turnover adds up to 4.000.000 euro each month.
Published: 14 November 2007 by Edward Brüheim