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Government Crime The Almighty Buck Games Your Rights Online

North Korea Accused of Hacking Online Games For Profit 36

Posted by Soulskill
from the crime-in-the-21st-century-is-so-lame dept.
According to South Korean authorities, North Korean computer experts were tasked with raising money by attacking the servers of popular online games and using automated software to accumulate in-game enhancements they could sell to legitimate players. "In a little less than two years, the police said, the organizers made $6 million. The North Korean computer experts were each required to send at least $500 a month back to the Pyongyang government, the police said. It remained unclear how much of the rest of their profits they pocketed for themselves, given different layers of party and military officials involved in a typical illicit operation. What appeared clear from the case, the police said, was that North Korean agencies, increasingly hamstrung by international sanctions, were exploring any new means to raise cash for Mr. Kim and prove their loyalty."
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North Korea Accused of Hacking Online Games For Profit

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  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Monday August 08, 2011 @06:17PM (#37027568) Homepage Journal

    They hate capitalism so much that they... let me get this straight... used it to make money and help fund their government? I don't know, guys, it seems a little disingenuous to me.

    • The real story is....

      Some hacker broke the TOS of online games in South Korea. They made a barrel of money in the process, and are completely untraceable. The coup_d'état is that they managed to build a bread-crumb trail that points to the North Korean government, and South Korea fell for it!

      • by crossmr (957846)

        They arrested 5 people and it shouldn't be that untraceable. If they're collecting money in SK for that kind of thing, they're doing it via bank transfer. Not hard for them to find out who owns the account.

        • Where they fucked up is not hacking a few bank accounts to. This is money laundering 101, you never, *EVER* use your own banking account to embezzle money*

          *unless you bought enough politicians off first that your embezzlement becomes legal, in which case there is no problem
          • by crossmr (957846) on Monday August 08, 2011 @07:38PM (#37028298) Journal

            That's much harder in Korea since everything is tied to the national ID system.
            You can't open an account with an ID that doesn't match the government system.
            So in order to create a fake ID you'd need to basically hack the government system since every service that users your ID generally runs it through theirs first.

            They could potentially create a semi-fake ID where they use a real name/number combo but put a different photo on the card. But since everything is tied together someone is likely to quickly find out their name/number is being used.

            They'd have more luck creating foreign passports and creating bank accounts as foreigners, but a lot of banks severely limit the usage of those, and a foreigner suddenly getting those kinds of deposits is likely to attract attention.

    • The people who make the game can just ban any one who deals with this on both sides.

      any ways maybe the US should do this and the same TAX all others who do it as well.

    • Use your enemy resources to fight against your enemy. Common commie tactics made famous by the Chairman.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I pay more that $500 a month in tax (Not to North Korea fortunately), the north Korean government could make heaps more money by just keeping everybody gainfully employed.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There are thousands of economic sanctions against them, their economy is fucked, and they are technologically still in the last century. Farming (uh, the oldschool kind of farming) won't make them as much money you do with your job.

        It also should be said that their government doesn't hate capitalism, it's just a dictatorship that does whatever it can to keep things as they are (since the status quo is great for the few higher ups). Anyhow, there's nothing wrong with stealing money from your enemy (remember

    • "South" Korean authorities, eh? Why should any thinking person believe anything coming from a US occupied puppet state? Anyone who does independent research about DPRK will find that information coming from the actual people living there (there is a great blog fy an exchange student living there, check it out) is different from US sponsored propaganda. Use you brain people!
    • by dbIII (701233)
      They are not really communist, more some sort of weird theocracy worshipping the dead father of the current leader and taking 1984 as a guidebook then going downhill from there. A few years back it looked like they were running an industrial scale state sanctioned heroin smuggling operation FFS. They'll take whatever they can get away with. Even some Chinese Koreans who may have relatives in the place would like to see North Korea nuked until it glows
  • I thought there were anti-cheating mechanisms in place in all major online games.

    One mechanism would be to block N. Korea's country IP range and issue an advisory notice.

    • Right. Because IP's can't be spoofed or masked. Trying to combat gold farmers and botters in MMO's is like trying to kill mosquitoes on a warm summer night: the longer you stay outside, the more you are going to get bit. For every 1 that flies into the bug zapper, 10 more show up to replace them, attracted by the bright shiny light that just killed their friend.
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        the way to take care of gold sellers is to make people afraid to buy gold, set up fake websites and permaban people who try to buy
    • Re:Detection (Score:4, Insightful)

      by medv4380 (1604309) on Monday August 08, 2011 @06:34PM (#37027740)
      The people who did it were actually in South Korea, but are believed to be working for North Korea. So blocking all of the norths traffic would do nothing, and any Anti-Cheating mechanism is only a temporary fix since eventually they are bypassed.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      these are mostly games of the region, you would get pretty far blanket banning a significant portion of customers

  • doing nothing but chinafarming? sounds like bullshit news...
  • Kim the sunglassed looking at the Sword of a Thousand Truths

  • When you buy game items for real money, you are funding Communists!

    Hai Diablo 3.

  • the North Koreans have done something bad. You can't argue with objective evidence like that.

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