Virtual Theft From Habbo Hotel

A virtual theft of virtual goods valued at more than $5,800 occurred at Habbo Hotel, a world-building site much like Second Life. A seventeen year-old Dutch teenager is under arrest for the robbery.

(Virtual theft of virtual goods from a Habbo Hotel)

The site allows users to create their own spaces; you can buy furnishings and other virtual goods for your space with real money. Stores like Target and Rite Aid sell prepaid Habbo cards.

Although police are still investigating the online heist, it appears that the scheme involved stealing passwords from legitimate users with a fake website that invited Habbo habitues to participate and leave their login passwords during a registration process.

The stolen passwords allowed the teen to walk into another user's Habbo space and take the goods. The stolen virtual swag was later found in the Dutch boy's Habbo hotel space.

This scenario is remarkably like the events that occur in the first few pages of Halting State, a brand-new novel by Charles Stross.

In the novel, a company that provides a virtual banking service for online virtual worlds is robbed.

"...Linda called me out - she's in derivatives and border controls - because there was something flaky going down in one of the realms we manage for Kensu International. It's in the prestige-level central bank for Avalon Four. There was a guild of Orcs - in a no-PvP area - and a goddamn dragon, and they cleaned out the bank. So we figured we'd call you.
(Read more about virtual world thefts)

Readers are invited to consider exactly what sort of crime took place, if any. Should Habbo hotels consider building a Habbo virtual jail construction site? Incarceration for avatars?

Via Virtual Theft, Real-World Punishment.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/17/2007)

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