EVE Online: Thousands of gold-buyers exposed

As we all know, buying money and goods for EVE Online using real money is somewhat frowned upon – but that doesn’t stop a whole bunch of gamers around the world from taking part in these illegal transactions. Just how many people actually indulge in this sort of behaviour is unknown – but a file allegedly containing thousands of character names has just been leaked from major seller Iskbank.

EVE Online

EVE Online

Fansite [surl=http://www.evenews24.com/2011/03/09/in-isk-we-trust-iskbank-com-exposed-thousand-of-customers-outed/]EVE News 24[/surl] has been given a file which outlines more than 4,000 transactions on the seller’s website – totalling a whopping $290,248 (and yes, that’s US dollars). On average, that works out to $69 per transaction – but some were for less, and many were for much more. Many customers also made numerous purchases.

The site decided to reveal all transactions – and associated names – to the public, which caused considerable controversy among the EVE community.

Vadim, the owner of Iskbank (which is based in Moldova), originally did not dispute the figures published by EVE News 24, claiming the information had been obtained by a Slovenian hacker. He also accused the hacker of trying to blackmail some of the listed customers, demanding ISK.

Once the list had been made public, however, Vadim changed his tune. He now claims all of the information is fictitious, in a new statement:

Evenews24.com has a publication about our website and in the end of the story published a list of characters that, as it is stated, have been obtained from our DB.

We officially state the information provided on the above-mentioned website is fictitious and has nothing to do with our customers’ data.

…apparently before taking the story to print, EVE News 24 contacted several customers whose names were on the list – and “the vast majority” confirmed that they were indeed Iskbank customers.

EVE Online developer CCP has also made an official response, via the [surl=http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1479579&page=5#132]game’s forum[/surl].

“At this time we cannot comment on the information in focus but we would like to use this opportunity to remind everyone that buying ISK for real money is a violation of our EULA and anyone doing so risks getting the ISK removed and punitive action against their accounts, including possible permanent bans.”

The whole saga is pretty fascinating, especially as it all relates to a game that many people write off as an “interactive spreadsheet”. Drama, espionage, blackmail… it’s all there, with the promise of more to come. Iskbank also has a Russian-language mirror, eveisk.ru, and allegedly EVE News 24 also has details on their customers too, which they plan to release later this month.

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