Report – North Korean ‘hacker army’ targets MMOs

Monday, 8 August 2011 03:41 GMT By Brenna Hillier

South Korean police have reportedly outed a ring of gold farmers dispatched from North Korea.

According to a New York Times report, Seoul police discovered a squad of hackers based in Northern China attacking games like Lineage and Dungeon Fighter Online.

The hackers had set up a fully-automated, script-driven gold farm to harvest in-game currency, which was then exchanged for real money on third-party websites. The software used was also sold to players.

The ringleaders had apparently amassed $6 million in two years, of which 55 percent was paid out to the thirty North Korean hackers behind the software.

The hackers allegedly forwarded some of the funds – around $500 a month – to North Korean government agents, with whom the International Crime Investigation Unit believes the hackers were in regular contact.

The agents are said to be part of Office 39, a “shadowy” bureau which collects foreign currency. The resulting fund is thought to be worth billions of dollars and is apparently used to fund nuclear weapons development programs.

Thanks, Joystiq.