Marc Merril, the game developer and founder of Riot Games, recently became a victim of identity theft. Merril’s identity was reportedly used by a man from Singapore who attempted to utilize Amazon Web Services and Google cloud computing power for mining cryptocurrencies.
Yesterday, Forbes revealed that Merril was indeed the anonymous victim of the identity theft scheme. Marc Merill is most famous for being the developer behind one of the most popular games in the world – League of Legends.
The criminal, Matthew Ho, started using Merill’s American Express credit card information in order to buy computing power from both Amazon and Google.
The identity theft caused a lot of damage
Last month, Ho was indicted by United States prosecutors who revealed that the total worth of computing services used by him was over $5 million. It was also revealed that at one point, Ho even became the largest AWS data consumer:
“Ho’s scheme remained active for a few months and he managed to consume more than $5 million in unpaid cloud computing services for his mining operation. He was, for a while, one of the biggest Amazon Web Services (AWS) largest consumers of data use by volumes. As some of the bills were paid by Riot Games’ financial staff, the scheme became evident.”
According to the investigators, Ho is a very talented “social engineer” and he used his abilities to gain access to admin privileges and huge amounts of computing power on Amazon and Google servers. This was later used to fuel his mining operation, which mainly mined bitcoin and Ethereum.
In order to fool Google, Ho even created a fake Californian driving license with Merril’s name. Even though Ho was apprehended last month, Merril’s identity was kept a secret until just recently. Ho is currently being charged with 8 accounts of wire fraud, 4 accounts of access device fraud and 2 accounts of identity theft.
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