Lineage II fraud results in arrest

Chinese exchange student arrested by Japanese police after using bot program to steal items from other users and then selling them for cash.

According to a report in the Mainichi Daily News today, Kagawa Prefecture Police in Japan have arrested a Chinese exchange student who allegedly used a bot hack in Lineage II to steal items from defeated characters.

The student went on to sell the items over an Internet auction in exchange for Japanese Yen. Reportedly, Kagawa Police suspects other hackers from China are involved in the Lineage II bot-hack scheme.

According to officials at NC Japan, the operators of Lineage II, the bot hack creates a normal character in the game, and the character then goes on to automatically defeat opponents and steal their items. Players who are attacked by the bot-hacked character are unable to continue playing the game after losing their items.

Single items from Lineage II sold over Japanese Internet auction sites can range in price from 2,300 to 8,000 yen ($21.00 to $73.00), according to officials at Internet Association Japan. A successful Internet auction bidder can obtain stolen weapons, protection, and credits easily. The bidder makes payment into the seller's bank account directly. The bidder then completes the auction transaction by taking possession of the items at a specific time and place in the game.

"As long as there are people willing to buy items over the Internet, the abuse won't stop," commented Akio Kokubu, vice president of Internet Association Japan.

Kobe University professor Masakatsu Morii told the paper there are no Japanese laws governing the sale of items from online game sites. He said that game site operators should take measures to prevent fraud.

Kagawa Prefecture Police are continuing their investigation into where and how the bot hack was created, according to the paper. It's unknown at this time if the hack was created in Japan or China.

Kagawa is located in southern Japan and is the smallest prefecture (by area) in the country.

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