Kim Jong-il has found an unusual way to give the North Korean economy a boost. According to South Korean authorities, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has turned to gold farming - yes, that kind of gold farming. As The New York Times reported, North Korea has been using its top science universities to train hackers, who are then unleashed on popular South Korean MMOs, such as Lineage and Dungeon Fighter Online, to generate money for North Korea.
A group of five organizers were arrested Thursday in Northern China for drawing on the North Korean army of hackers to create a group of 30 “video gaming experts” to generate money by abusing MMOs. The experts were able to write software that infiltrated several games and allowed unmanned computers to operate in the game 24 hours a day.
It was an effective scheme, generating over $6 million in about two years. The organizers gave 55 percent to the hackers, who each sent at least $500 to agents in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, every month.
South Korean and American officials believe that the North Korean hacking army contributes to a slush fund worth billions. The fund is worth billions and is controlled by Kim Jong-il, who uses it to finance the North Korean nuclear arms program and to smuggle luxury goods through the heavy sanctions on his country - the same sanctions that make North Korean trading so difficult that the government has begun gold farming to generate revenue.
Aug 8, 2011
Source: NY Times