As the secretive nation of North Korea continues to baffle and occasionally amuse, most of us can only guess about people’s lives behind the Great Wall of Pyongyang. But there’s one thing we know for sure – they have computers, and they seem to be fantastic at using them.
Over the past few years, the United Nations has imposed sanctions on trade with North Korea in an effort to reduce their cash flow – a lot of which could potentially be invested in the development of nuclear weapons. But that hasn’t stopped them from using more unusual methods. According to South Korean police, a group of North Korean hackers has been caught ‘farming’ for virtual gold on popular MMO games, and selling it on the black market for hard cash, most of which goes into the coffers of Kim Jong Il.
The market for ‘In-Game Gold’ is booming in South Korea and China, where just recently, prisoners were forced to play online games in a money-making scam run by the prison guards.
The report states that a team of 30 hackers working from China had managed to breach the sever security of popular games like Lineage and Dungeon Fighter. The breach allowed them to operate a network of bot factories continually playing to get weapons and gold, with which they raked in 6 million dollars over two years. The money was then diverted to accomplices in North Korea.
The Dear Leader, as usual, is claiming that it’s all a conspiracy.