South Korea Accuses Kim Jong-il's Government of Major MMO Hacking

August 8, 2011 -

The New York Times is reporting that minions of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il have found an interesting way of earning some much needed cash - MMO's. According to South Korean authorities, their neighbor to the North has created an army of young hackers and unleashed them on South Korea's most popular MMORPG's. This group is finding ways to exploit systems, gather in-game credits and convert it all back to cold hard cash.

Police in Seoul said Thursday that four South Koreans and a Korean-Chinese were arrested on charges related to such activities, and further allege that many of the 30 or so "young video gaming experts" were working out of Northern China. According to police, this group developed hacking software that circumvented the servers for such South Korean online games as Lineage and Dungeon and Fighter. This security breach allowed the group to play "around-the-clock" and farm various virtual goods.

The ill-gotten goods (the NYT refers to them as "points" but that is not entirely an accurate description) were then exchanged for cash at web sites where virtual goods are resold to players who want them and are willing to pay real-world money. Police also said that the software these men used to exploit various games was also sold.

In less than two years the group managed to raise $6 million, and, according to police, they gave 55 percent of it to the hackers, who forwarded some of it to agents in Pyongyang, North Korea.

"They regularly contacted North Korean agents for close consultations," Chung Kil-hwan, a senior officer at the police agency’s International Crime Investigation Unit, said during a news briefing.

Chung said the hackers, who are all reportedly graduates of North Korea’s elite science universities were dispatched from two places: the Korea Computer Center in Pyongyang and the Korea Neungnado General Trading Company. The latter company, he claims, reports to a shadowy Communist Party agency called Office 39, which "gathers foreign hard currency for Mr. Kim through drug trafficking, counterfeiting, arms sales and other illicit activities."

South Korean and American officials claim this secret and covert fund is worth billions, and that Kim uses it to finance his nuclear weapons programs and to smuggle luxury goods into the country, which he in turn uses to buy the allegiance of the party and the military elite.

The North Korean computer experts were each required to send at least $500 a month back to the Pyongyang government, according to police.

North Korean officials denied the accusations and said that South Korean officials were simply "inventing a conspiracy."

Source: Destructoid


 
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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
 

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