back to article Finnish police raids target virtual thieves

Finnish police have raided five homes in a search for virtual furniture stolen from Habbo Hotel. The virtual world, which is big in Finland, claims 15 million users and turns over about $60m a year by charging users for various virtual goods. Finnish police told the Beeb that they were investigating 400 separate cases of …


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  1. Ralph B


    Can we at least hope that simulated police are investigating this "crime"?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pool's closed

    due to raids

  3. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge


    ...Let these be virtual police raids carried out by Second Life rozzers on a virtual home in the cloud.....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Slow policing day

    Have the police really got nothing better to do?

    <shakes head>

  5. Hieronymus Coward



    "some people reporting the loss of up to €1,000 of stuff"

    Who a) has that kind of money to spend on 'virtual' stuff

    and b) who is stupid enough to waste that much money on 'virtual' stuff?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Darwinism at work...

    Hard to feel sympathy for anyone involved, really. Virtual worlds, virtual property, virtual theft - the world's gone potty. Presumably if convicted, the miscreants will serve a virtual sentence in a virtual gaol?

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      hmmm are you sure this isnt in Blighty?

      "the miscreants will serve a virtual sentence in a virtual gaol" - isnt this the usual punishment for common criminals in England? Unless they're overly tall photographers, or happen to have a beard and slightly darker skin, of course...

      Joke icon because i wish i was...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Do you not get computers or modern banking?

        These items are no diffrent to money in the bank. Only about 1% of money in circulation is "real" money. The rest is nothing more than numbers on a computer. (Oh, and don't get confused with the figgers passed around when northen rock went down. That only included cash and demand deposits)

  7. Steve Brammer

    How many users?

    How did they manage to get 15 million users when there are only approximately 5.3 million people living in Finland? If this is a Finnish language website then they must have all the Finnish speaking people in the entire world using their site, which is very impressive.

    1. Stoneshop

      Your lack of comprehension

      is at least as impressive as it would be to have 15 million users on a Finnish-language website.

      Had your two braincells cooperated, it might have dawned on you that Habbo might not be Finnish, just rather popular there. And a quick check would have verified that this is a website whose primary language is English.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Oh SNAP!

        You sure told them.

        Actually, thanks for the laugh...I like the two braincells part, although i think you're exaggerating again.

    2. scottboy


      They are big in Finland and have 15 million users<>they have 15 million users in Finland

  8. irish donkey
    Paris Hilton

    Is it just me or...

    can't they just 'redraw','re-render' or 'Control Z', Apple Z and the virtual chair, picture or what ever will reappear ...

    I am struggling to understand what is going on here.

    feeling a bit like Paris at the minute. Baffled by something which is possibly so obvious

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not really

      AFAIK the game won't let you copy items, once you "give" an item to someone else the server that holds all your data decreases your item count by one and increases the item count of the reciepient by one. If you were allowed to duplicate items they'd have no value and nobody would hand money over to Habbo.

      (You can argue they already have no value but amazingly people are willing to hand over money so...)

      1. Count Ludwig

        re-re-assign its ass

        Still baffled. Presumably each valuble item has an ID that was assigned to one user and has been incorerectly re-assigned (stolen) by another.

        There is "of course" an audit trail for each user and item. So can't the Habbo admins simply investigate the complaint and re-re-assign ithe item back (and disable the account of the offending user for breaking the T&C)?

        Actually, given an effective audit trail and an enforced time-lag, why is it possible to steal money from someone's bank account remotely? Surely the banks know the account it's gone to and can just transfer the money back. IME the time-lag is certainly there. I guess key word is "effective".

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Random Noise


    I wonder if they fact they were 'phished' will have any bearing on it at all.

    If someone tricked me in to handing them my house keys and they went in & stole my furniture I'm sure my insurance wouldn't be too keen to pay out as it's my own fault for giving away my keys. It's not the same as someone picking my locks and breaking in.

    Granted it's not a perfect analogy...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      It is the same - when it comes to your real house anyway.

      The term you are looking for is "burglary artifice". i.e. committing a burglary, gaining entry by ruse rather than by breaking and entering.

      Whether your Insurance company sees any difference is down to your eyesight and their small print.......

  10. The First Dave


    I am sure that the perpetrators (if they actually exist, and this isn't just a server glitch) are guilty of several different hacking-style crimes, but theft isn't one of them.

  11. 46Bit
    Thumb Up


    Anyone stupid enough to spend their hard-earned cash on a stupid game where you're buying and selling a couple of numbers with no use are idiots. That they're getting stolen is a good thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Well, then...

      ...have you ever gone to see a movie? Stupid idiot! You just spent your hard earned money on a stupid movie! Do you have internet access? Stupid idiot! You're paying for a bunch of ones and zeroes! Have you ever bought a video game? Stupid idiot! You spent your hard-earned cash on a stupid game! Have you gone to an amusement park? Stupid idiot! You bought the right to walk through a gate when all you're going to do is walk back out of it again!

      It boggles my mind how many people fail to understand that just because a form of entertainment-for-pay isn't appealing to them doesn't mean it doesn't appeal to others, and vice versa.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    All your furniture

    are belong to us....

  13. JassMan

    A quick plug

    If anyone doesn't understand the way that some people attach real value to imaginary objects, I suggest that they read "For the Win" by Cory Doctorow. It is a brilliant book (other than some mildly irritating embedded commercial plugs) by a man who has put a lot of thought into visualising a future which is already here (if that isn't an anachronism).

    In fact I would recommend it to anyone who has any interest in politics, IT and human interaction. One of the best books I have read in ages. Available online at or in hard copy in good bookstores (shortly).

  14. JC 2

    @ Well, then...

    ... but you do accept that people who find things appealing can still be stupid idiots?

  15. Martin Usher

    What's with the wetware?

    You'd expect the Finnish police to become virtual and perform the raid virtually (don't tell me that the game doesn't have administrative access to users' clients).

    I can just see're minding your own business when suddenly a Finnish version of the Keystone Cops bursts into your environment, clowns about for a bit then disappears to the next environment.

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