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Korean ‘Overwatch’ Hackers Sentenced, Fined $10,000

The South Korean government has begun sentencing 13 people accused of hacking Blizzard Entertainment’s popular online hero shooter “Overwatch,” according to a post from Blizzard Korea Kotaku points out.

One person received two years of probation. The other was fined 10 million won, which equals roughly $10,000 USD. They were arrested and charged after a year-long investigation by the Seoul National Police Agency Cyber Security Department. The other eleven cases are still under investigation.

A South Korean amendment went into effect last year banning the “manufacturing and distributing of programs that are not allowed by the game company and its terms of service,” according to Gamasutra. People who violate the new law could face up to five years in jail or roughly $43,000 in fines.

Hacking is a big problem for competitive online games like “Overwatch.” Over the last two years, Korean gamers allegedly used internet cafes called “PC bangs” to create new accounts when they got banned for cheating. Blizzard cracked down on that practice, but it couldn’t stop the people who created the hacks — until now.

Last week, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” developer PUBG Corp. said 15 people were arrested in China for allegedly creating and selling hacks for the popular battle royale game. They were reportedly fined approximately 30 million RNB ($5.1 million USD). Anti-cheat company BattlEye said it banned over a million accounts for cheating in the game in January alone.

Meanwhile, “Fortnite” creator Epic Games is moving ahead with a lawsuit against a 14-year-old accused of cheating, GamesIndustry.biz reported. The teen allegedly used hacks to “unlawfully modify” the game, creating an “unauthorized derivative work.”

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