North Korea employing game hackers - South Korea

Seoul police charge five with breaching Lineage servers to facilitate bot farming, say operation funneled millions to communist government agents.

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According to South Korean police, North Korea is getting into farming of a distinctly non-agricultural variety. The New York Times is reporting that Seoul authorities have arrested five people that they believe were running a conspiracy to hack into online games and run bot farms, with proceeds being funneled back to the North Korean government.

Lineage was one of the hackers' targeted games.

Police are charging the group with organizing a group of dozens of hackers and gamers to breach server security for online games like Lineage and Dungeon Fighter Online. Instead of bringing those games down or stealing user information, police said the hacking was done to allow the use of illegal automated 24-hour farming operations.

Resources from the bot-run accounts were then sold at real-money-trading sites. Authorities believe that over the course of two years, the group brought in roughly $6 million, more than half of which was transferred to accomplices in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. All five of the charged hackers graduated from North Korean universities and previously operated at a state-run computer center or a trading company believed to be part of a government agency that raises funds through illicit activities like drug trafficking and counterfeiting.

According to the report, North Korea denied involvement in the hacking "and accused Seoul of inventing a conspiracy."

Discussion

108 comments
ionusX
ionusX

im jsut waiting for the e-wars to start over this.. where folks like us will be able to become decorated heroes with our mad use of buttons and hotkeys ;P RL achievements ftw!

Orpheus_Evo
Orpheus_Evo

@Frame_Dragger "North Korea isn't a country of good people"... Yeah, your words are really moving and respectful... but that's NOT what ducusss said. If he had said that, I would have said him "Yes, I Agree, My Good Man". But that's NOT -again- what he said, even if he tries to denied me...now that you have "interpreted" him with such a rational meaning. The bottom line is that he was unrespectful about a country he knows NOTHING about (as the 2 other users I responded originally to). Or you think that when he told me I'm disgusting, he meant it as an observation about my political and philosophical disposition in the matter of geopolitics and foreign cultures? C'Mon, man! He said what he said, I said what I said. No translation needed. End of discussion. But, you're right, this is my last opinion about all this. Thank you for your words. @ChaosUndivided ABSO-freakin'-LUTELY. Finally, someone with common sense. I give you a Standing Ovation. That was -more or less- my point all this time. Granted, I may have used the wrong words -maybe-, but that's what I think. Thank You, ChaosUndivided.

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

Fair enough they have hackers making money for them. But why not mention that this is an act not limited to NK it is something that goes on in all countries especially the major ones so stop pointing the finger at a country which is smaller then some of our states just cause they have a questionable leader. The US/Europe doesn't condone it in their countries, but they aren't doing much to control or prevent it. Instead we get articles like this which focus our attention else where.

Orpheus_Evo
Orpheus_Evo

@ducusss I'm sorry i'm disgusting to you...exactly for what, though? I didn't said "All Hail NK!"...I just said "IT'S WRONG TO INSULT A COUNTRY just because you live "in the land of the free" and they don't". NK IS a country led by a "dictator doing all he can to brainwash them" (the "insane" part I don't know...)...but NK "isn't a country of good people"? What do you know about them? Have you talked with ANY northkorean EVER in your life? How do you know they're "bad people"? Because they have a bad leader? So, I guess that means all the american people is "bad" because you have some "cuestionable" leaders? I don't think so. P.S: I APOLOGIZE SINCERELY FOR MY LAST WORDS (not these, but the post GS deleted), I was just angry with the INSULTING words of 2 users, and maybe I annoyed a lot of people that don't deserve it. Next time I'll just REPORT them, as I should have. Again, SORRY to anyone who felt insulted or anything. Bad, Orpheus, Bad! :(

juliano001
juliano001

@suikogaiden. Best short explanation ever about the matter being debated. Congrats.

juliano001
juliano001

Only LOSERS buy gold in a MMO. Period. I played wow for 3 years and NEVER bought a single virtual coin.

Henrique2324
Henrique2324

Lol, i must've hit the thumbs down limit on my first comment. YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@Henrique2324 funny!! North Korea SUX! and its king or whatever!!! is a evil NUT!!

vallan2
vallan2

@Frame_Dragger Oh I not doubting that this it true, it's just funny that S Korea is the one reporting on it. I wouldn't be surprised if N.Korea did more stuff like this in the future.

Takeno456
Takeno456

The North is so starved for income that this is really not a surprise.

vallan2
vallan2

On the one hand, it's N.Korea which I wouldn't be surprised if they did this. On the other, it's S Korea doing the reporting, not exactly unbiased toward N.Korea. It's like Fox News reporting on MSNBC. Very suspicious...

TheRealUser101
TheRealUser101

North Korea is going to have a field day with Diablo 3 ...

MaverickHunter8
MaverickHunter8

=_= What is the world coming to when people employ hackers to hack online games? That's very not cool!

Sharhan96
Sharhan96

remember those hackers that hacked PSN? .... .... .... Well, this has nothing to do with it.

mtait01
mtait01

Virtual economies are very valuable, I wrote my dissertation on virtual worlds a few months back and wrote a large section on the economics... truly shocking the amount of money it is worth

Asseen0nTV
Asseen0nTV

Hear that kiddos? This article should read "13 year old children fund terrorism by failing at their favorite MMO fantasy game!"

Granpire
Granpire

This is a smart way to get funding from all around the world... Including North Americans... Unethical, but probably effective.

holtrocks
holtrocks

This is what future wars will be like lol

DKant
DKant

In this last one week, I've read about everything from hackers screwing with the motor frequencies at an enrichment facility in Iran, to this. :) Talk about range.

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

Bottom line: DON'T BUY GOLD IN MMO'S

King-gamer
King-gamer

Too weird to be true. Don't want to believe that the South is inventing a conspiracy yet I don't want to believe that North is actually doing this simply because its all too weird. I'll just pretend this never happened.

Pumpkinhead3
Pumpkinhead3

"...a government agency that raises funds through illicit activities like drug trafficking and counterfeiting." North Korea is so messed up.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Remember the next time you buy that gold armor on Ebay, you are aiding communism to take over the world.

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

actually, they were only farming items for the great leader. we all know how much he loves video games.

dawil123
dawil123

i think this should have been saved for april's fools

ash162
ash162

This is the funniest bit of news i have read this year:):)

strayfies
strayfies

How ridiculous can you get, honestly.

PartyOnGarth
PartyOnGarth

Hans, ya-breakin' my barrs here, Hans, ya breakin' my barrs!

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

Well, I imagine after they get hired the first step of training would be learning what a computer is. Then step 2 would be learning how to use the internet at gunpoint so they don't end up on any website that shows that North Korea isn't the utopia they think it is.

conkerton
conkerton

Korea... *face palm*... you're doing it wrong. Just everything... *sigh* you're doing it wrong.

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

That explains fallout 3.... what this is for online games? damn pre joke failed

megakick
megakick

Lineage wow? Thought u could get away with hacking a ancient MMO bwahahahhaha NO!!!!!

Henninger
Henninger

U guys r basing this story on their economy. I dont think it wuz that @ all. I think theyre getting that extra cash 4 arming themselves. This might b a stretch & i'll admitt 2 it but N. Korea has been up 2 no good 4 awhile now. So if the money is being given 2 N. Korean government agents then i just dont think it wuz an economy saving scheme. But then again i could b reaching a little 2 high here.

RossRichard
RossRichard

Wow. Things must be really bad for North Korea if they are looking into hacking MMOs for funds.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@sonic_pt You should look into life in NK. It's seems rather likely it's either the government, or someone therein. You shouldn't be surprised really, considering all the similarly bizarre things that country's gov't has done.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Dang it. So this explains why there are so many hackers on DFO and people getting hacked out the Wazzo. =/

mattg90520
mattg90520

Oh Kim Jong Il, you silly tramp.

Death_Blade_182
Death_Blade_182

I believe this is what they call, hitting rock bottom.