This must be the weirdest story of the week:
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has found a novel way of raising badly needed cash. According to the New York Times, the notorious dictator has hired a team of hackers to infiltrate popular South Korean MMORPGs and farm in-game money.
Kim’s specially trained hackers is believed to hail from North Korea and South Korea, and work with operatives in Northern China. The squad created software that breached the servers for popular South Korean online gaming sites such as “Lineage” and “Dungeon and Fighter.” The breach allowed round-the-clock play by “factories” of dozens of unmanned computers.
Their accumulated gaming money was then exchanged for cash on websites where human players are focused on acquiring enhancements for their online personas, or avatars.
Four of the hackers were arrested last week in Seoul for organizing a hacking squad of 30 people, authorities said.
Financing The Nuke Program
In less than two years, the organizers made $6 million, 55 percent of which went to the hackers, and some of that to Kim’s agents in Pyongyang, Seoul police said. Officials believe the hackers report to a mysterious Communist Party agency named Office 39, which earns money for Kim through drug trafficking, arms sales and other illegal activities. Kim is believed to use the money, in part, to fund nuclear weapons program.
Seriously, this is very upsetting. What could be more depressing than a nuclear attack funded by MMORPGs?