[ISN] Hackers Pocket W16 Billion in Cyber Cash

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Tue Nov 23 06:24:09 EST 2004


By Chung Ah-young
Staff Reporter

The state prosecution on Tuesday indicted two computer hackers and one
of their accomplices on charges of stealing cyber money worth 16.4
billion won ($15.3 million) by infiltrating one of the largest online
game firms.

The Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors¡¯ Office said the
suspects pocketed the largest amount of cyber money ever obtained in
hacking crimes.

Investigators said the suspects allegedly broke into the online game
site to steal cyber cash, which can be exchanged for real money, and
sold it to cyber brokers on Sept. 24-27.

Prosecutors said that suspects plotted the crime beforehand through
closely reviewing the company¡¯s electronic payment system and
conducted practice runs beforehand.

They found that the Web site run by the major game company has a
loophole that enabled them to manipulate file contents.

Before committing the crime, the suspects did a mock hacking via the
service and stole cyber cash worth 27 million won in March and June.

Prosecutors said they connected to the company¡¯s information network
system 227 times during the Chusok holiday in September.

They illegally charged mileage points worth 164.7 billion won through
152 identification numbers that they set up beforehand.

The suspects then allegedly traded stolen cyber cash at 750 million
won to a broker, identified as Kim, who also raked in a total of 168
million won by selling it to other brokers through e-mails or
identification numbers.

Prosecutors said the company¡¯s damages have been minimized because it
immediately shut down the use of the identification numbers right
after the crime occurred.

However, prosecutors did not exclude the possibility that more damages
are expected because game mileage is vulnerable to illegal trading and
is circulated through the black market between cyber traders.

The amount of cyber money they stole, estimated at mileage points
worth 164.7 billion won, is equivalent to the amount only after users
have spent 16.4 billion won in buying items or using services the
company provides.

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