Microsoft cracks down the scam, files a lawsuit against the website
Microsoft has filed a complaint in federal court against a Chinese gaming website that they claim have been selling hacked Xbox accounts since 2015 and selling the in-game currencies at incredible discounts on the open market, reports The Verge.
iGSKY, that presents itself as a gaming service company, allows you to buy cheap in-game credits and rare items on the website. They in turn hack your Xbox account, then use your associated credit card to buy more in-game credits, which they sell to other victims, who in turn also get their accounts hacked and credit cards stolen.
The site is offering cheap in-game points for the FIFA games, Grand Theft Auto V, Forza Horizon 3, and Pokemon Go, among others. The company has made nearly $2 million in purchases using hacked Xbox accounts and their attached credit cards, claims Microsoft.
“Microsoft is committed to providing customers with safe and secure online experiences. We filed these lawsuits to protect our Xbox customers from the illegal trafficking of stolen property,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Verge.
How did Microsoft unearth the scam?
In order to bring the illegal operation out in the open, Microsoft’s in-house fraud investigators started looking at the site in December, by actually buying some in-game currencies from FIFA. The company’s fraud team purchased 11,000 FIFA points on iGSKY.com for $60. Immediately after the transaction, Xbox Live received a request to change the email and password for an eight-year-old account, and a subsequent transaction of $127.54 was made from the credit card for the same 11,000 points.
The moment iGSKY provided Microsoft’s investigating team with the details in an email with instructions to spend the points as soon as possible, the original owner of the account contacted Xbox customer support, complaining that he had been locked out of his account and unauthorized purchases had been made.
Using this as evidence, Microsoft filed a complaint in the court and built charges of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, and CFAA violations against iGSKY parent company, Gameest and Weiwei Chu, its alleged operator.
While it is unclear how IGSKY hacks Xbox accounts, there has not been any broader breach, according to reports. But the bigger issue is to shut down the nefarious activity of selling hacked accounts online. Since, IGSKY is based in China, it is a difficult task for a U.S. based company like Microsoft to shut down the website. However, the court has made it a little difficult by issuing a temporary restraining order freezing the company’s domestic assets, along with any PayPal accounts associated to the site.
You can read Microsoft’s Virtual Currency suit here.
Source: The Verge