Tech Tuesday – North Korea is Hacking Games for Money
Our kookey friends north of the 38th Parallel are at it again. First it was their own distribution of Linux called Red Star, which I did download and install. But I couldn't use it because it was in Korean. Now, Kim Jong-Il is having people hack games to make some real world cash.
I have read stories before of people just sitting all day to get rare virtual prizes in a game and then sell them to people in the real world, for real money. The term for sitting there all day and getting those goods is called "Grinding". I had also read stories about whole buildings in China devoted to Grinding. Looks like Kim Jong-Il is now getting into the Grinding craze.
Police in South Korea have arrested four people for trying to recruit 30 people for this virtual Grinding Army. Working from somewhere in China, they write code to break into servers and allow automated computers to play for as long as the coders wanted.These unattended computers would simply play the game racking up the points and goods. Those points would then be sold online to real people playing the games for real money.
It's estimated that these hackers have made over $6 million dollars which was split between the hackers and then some hackers then forwarded some of their money to the government in Pyongyang. These hackers were also in contact with North Korea for consultation on the operation.
It believed that the whole operation has collected somewhere in the billions of dollars that was all funneled to North Korea to help fund their Nuclear weapons program. North Korea has of course denied the whole thing and says South Korea is inventing these events to create a conspiracy. I find this doubtful, as North Korea does a wonderful job of doing that itself.