The following article appeared on the website, english.chosun.com. The story itself deals with an issue that has cropped up in both Lineage II and Lineage. The problem is identity theft and fraudulant accounts... Read for yourself:
Massive ID Theft Opens Gates to Online Game
The Korean online game “Lineage” is played by a small army of fraudulent users who use the IDs of others to register for the game. Fraudulent use of hacked personal information on this scale is without precedent.
There have been no reports so far that victims whose personal information was stolen online have suffered financial losses, but that may change since so-called “items” such as game weaponry can be easily converted into cash.
“Lineage”-maker NC Soft said Monday it was investigating reports that some 500 individuals play the game in the name and at the expense of people who never joined “Lineage” or “Lineage II.” As of Monday at 5 p.m., the number was still increasing.
The two “Lineage” games are the most popular Korean massive multi-player online role playing games (MMORPG). The number of players has been calculated at 1-2 million who engage in fights with each other against the backdrop of a medieval fantasy world. Along the way they are rewarded for their skill by acquiring “items” that boost their characters’ strength.
NC Soft said it was not clear how the user IDs were stolen, but given the scale of the fraud it speculates that a major portal site or community site was attacked by hackers.
An NC Soft staffer said the fraudulent users created game characters for themselves with stolen ID numbers and names and paid for membership via mobile phones that were also registered with stolen names. The firm is investigating to establish the exact scale of the damage
One clue points to China, because many of the fraudulent users use Chinese names like Xi. There have been warning signs for several years. A staffer with an IT security firm says several hacking programs designed to steal private information from various Internet sites went around last year, and there have been several attempts in China as well as Korea to steal private information online.
For more on Lineage II, click here