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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MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
prh99http://www.romanoriginals.co.uk/invt/70931?colour=Blue The dress does comes in white and blue but both have black lace and a sheer back top, I don't see gold or brown. 02/27/2015 - 8:54pm
ZippyDSMleeDungeons was a so bad so good game to me so I been keeping up with its sequel which will more of a Dungeon Keeper clone. As for pre order out of 7 preorders I was not burnt by 2... Add my contempt of most of modern game design.Ya I have all kinds of hurt.02/27/2015 - 8:40pm
MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
ZippyDSMleeFun? I can do fun…. I think LOL. Dungeons 2 is on preorder but not via steam... >> Hell I am breaking all kinds of personal butthurt rules to even THINK about pre order...02/27/2015 - 8:12pm
E. Zachary KnightHad some fun discussions about that dumb dress on Facebook. I opened the original picture in GIMP and sampled the colors and determined them to be Blue and Gold. People still say I am wrong.02/27/2015 - 7:41pm
ConsterTime for something completely different: #teamwhiteandgoldllama!02/27/2015 - 7:27pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: I'll try. ^^02/27/2015 - 5:40pm
 

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