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North Korea Raising Funds Through MMO Hacking?

Posted Aug 08, 2011 by Suzie Ford

North Korea Raising Funds Through MMO Hacking?

According to a report from the New York Times, North Korea's government is raising money for the cash-strapped nation through an army of young hackers tapping into the money rich MMO market. The hackers have been discovered in both Lineage and Dungeon Fighter. Funds are gained by selling accumulated "gaming points" to players looking for a fast leg up in game.

In a little less than two years, the police said, the organizers made $6 million. They gave 55 percent of it to the hackers, who forwarded some of it to agents in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. “They regularly contacted North Korean agents for close consultations,” Chung Kil-hwan, a senior officer at the police agency’s International Crime Investigation Unit, said during a news briefing.

Mr. Chung said the hackers, all graduates of North Korea’s elite science universities, were dispatched from two places: the state-run Korea Computer Center in Pyongyang and the Korea Neungnado General Trading Company. The company, he said, reports to a shadowy Communist Party agency called Office 39, which gathers foreign hard currency for Mr. Kim through drug trafficking, counterfeiting, arms sales and other illicit activities.

According to the Times, the funds are being used to further research and development of nuclear weapons.

North Korea denies any involvement in the hacking attacks.

Read more at the New York Times.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom