A 20-year-old man has been jailed for 18 months after making thousands of pounds by distributing a Call of Duty hack that was really a virus.
Lewys Martin, of Deal, Kent, hid a Trojan horse virus inside a Call of Duty hack he pushed out on the internet, according to a report by Kent Online.
He was able to monitor users' keystrokes to obtain bank and credit card details, passwords and codes, which he sold for between $1 and $5 a pop through a website. He kept his profits in an offshore account in Costa Rica.
He was caught after trying to steal computer equipment in colleges in Dover and Deal while drunk. Cops found the details of over 300 credit cards and passwords in his home, and a fraudulent bank loan for £3000.
In November 2011 his sentence was deferred to allow him to pursue a computer course at university, but in March 2012, while on bail, he was caught breaking into Walmer Science College. Clever!
"We don't know how much money he got through selling the card details because the money is in a bank which won't co-operate with the authorities," said prosecutor Edmund Burge. "But Martin admitted to police that it was in the thousands of pounds."
Defence council Thomas Restell said: "It is clear that he is too clever for his own good and being that clever found it too easy to use that knowledge for nefarious purposes."
Apparently Martin asked the judge to let him complete the IT university course he was on, "which would allow him to harness his abilities for good and not evil". He's off drink and drugs now, see.
But judge Nigel Van Der Bijl said he'd been given a chance in November "but you never kept your promises".
Sophos security expert Graham Cluley warned gamers of the danger of downloading hacks and cracks. "Game players would pay attention to the technique used by Lewys Martin to infect computers," he wrote on the Naked Security blog. "It's not uncommon for malware to be distributed in the form of cracks and hacks for popular computer games - if you run unknown code on your computer to meddle with a video game, you might well be allowing malware to insidiously install itself too."