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.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.