Tuesday, May 19, 2015

IWANTISK - What A Mess

Tired of all the controversy that seems to surround some of EVE Online's gambling sites? Me too. After CCP shut down SOMERblink's long-running ISK laundering scheme in 2013 and banned him permanently in 2014, I wanted nothing to do with virtual gambling again unless CCP took action. Well...

At the end of March, someone wrote a very unconvincing post on Reddit about how the owners of I Want ISK were funneling funds through shops on Player Auctions. Sorry, but except for the interesting screenshot indicating the involvement the biggest seller of ISK on Player Auctions at the time, the post warranted no further interest.

Fast forward to this past weekend. A writer at TMC picked up on a Reddit thread about CCP blocking players from accessing the I Want ISK website using the in-game browser. The writer speculated:
"While details are currently unclear, it appears that Iwantisk.com is pending an investigation, possibly related to real money trading (RMT)."
Even without additional information in the article, a reasonable speculation. If CCP detected some sort of man-in-the-middle attack or other compromise of I Want ISK's security, then a hacker could funnel funds from either I Want ISK or the gambling site's customers to sell for real money. I imagine that CCP keeps a close watch on the activities involving the gambling websites due to the large amounts of ISK involved. Of course, the simpler explanation suggested by the statement is that the owner of I Want ISK, or at least some of those working on the site, were selling ISK. For that reason, I personally would refrain from posting that theory unless I had a few more facts I could reveal to back up the statement.

I normally don't place much stock in the comments in news articles, whether on a real world news site or on TMC.

From the comments section of TMC
If the information in the graphic above is accurate, however, then I Want ISK is facing a big problem. One person taking ISK for personal gain can happen. But multiple people? Usually multiple people involved in an unethical enterprise is called a ring. More importantly, unlike most other games, CCP does not ban players for stealing from each other. They do, however, for selling ISK.

I don't want to speculate further without doing more research. Relying on the comments section of TMC for information on ban waves of any sort is pretty much a last resort. But given that CCP is still blocking access to IWANTISK.com in the in-game browser, I felt I had to write something on another possible major scandal involving illicit RMT.

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