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North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes?

NYTimes.com reports on a group of North Korean computer hackers operating out of Northern China to exploit South Korean game servers for online games such as Lineage to gather in-game gold, with some of the proceeds going back to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il's coffers, where it may contribute to the purchase of Nukes and Rolexes. They say the gold farmers have raised $6 million USD in under two years, with a portion of the share paid to the hackers being sent back to Pyongyang. Word is: "South Korean and American officials say they believe the slush fund is worth billions, and that Mr. Kim uses it to help finance his nuclear weapons programs and to smuggle Rolex watches and other luxury goods, which he doles out to buy the allegiance of the party and the military elite. Meanwhile, the bulk of his people suffer privation and myriad hardships." Thanks Ant via Slashdot.

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8. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 22:22 Dev
 
Blue,
Thanks for the story!
Rockn-Roll wrote on Aug 9, 2011, 19:35:
It comes from the New York Times so it must be true? I'd believe aliens have landed before I believe that $6 million could be gleaned from Lineage.
Lets check over this again shall we?
The bit blue quotes says "for online games such as Lineage" and after I RTFA, thats what it says. It mentions another game as well as saying something similar to such games as...
Who knows, maybe they did WoW farming too.

I don't find it hard to believe a group of hackers/gold farmers raised $6 million in two years, and while yeah I imagine they did other things too, I don't consider it impossible a majority of that was from online game exploiting/farming.


If there wasn't a big potential for money, you think blizzard would be putting real money trading into diablo 3?
 
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7. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 20:39 Grokk
 
I think this deserves a place on Blues like anything else related to gaming.
Gold farming and the rmt market is worth billions across a wide assortment of games and indirectly affects 10's of millions of people.
The slightly alarmist headline might not be gaming specific, but it does have a tie in.
 
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6. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 19:35 Rockn-Roll
 
It comes from the New York Times so it must be true? I'd believe aliens have landed before I believe that $6 million could be gleaned from Lineage.

Wikipedia indicates that Lineage has less than 1 million subscribers. And, what I've seen from these subscription numbers in other games only like 1% of them are putting any time or money into the game. So that news item is trying to say that around 10,000 gamers are giving $300 per year to those particular gold farmers? They couldn't have cornered the market completely...I mean wouldn't there be transactions which those gold farmers aren't a party to? Also, I doubt that there's 10,000 gamers in all of Korea who even have $300 to spend on food and clothing each year much less a video game.

If they are computer hackers then you can bet that they are getting the money by some other means...bank account hacks, email scams, etc. I'm surprised that I'm seeing this here...not that this is a fake news item, but it really has nothing to do with gaming other than that a group of computer hackers in North Korea have stolen over $6 million and in their spare time play Lineage.
 
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Let's Rock!
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5. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 17:25  Blue 
 
Creston wrote on Aug 9, 2011, 16:32:
I like how they believe it's "billions of dollars."

Yeah, there aren't enough retards in the world buying THAT much virtual money, guys.

They clearly state that the gold farming raised around $6 million and that a portion of that was put in a slush fund they believe has billions in it. Obviously most of that money comes from somewhere else.

I just think it's interesting that there may be kickbacks from gold farming that go all the way to the top in North Korea, but I don't think anyone believes you could really buy nukes that way.

So yeah, this must be the Rolex money.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
Blue's News Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, El Presidente for Life
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4. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 17:17 Rigs
 
Well then the people need to fight for their freedom, don't they?

BINGO!

Don't even get me started...Regardless of the reason why we're Afghanistan or Iraq or bum-fuck Egypt, it's time to bring the forces home, set them up in a nice villa on the boarder and close the fucking doors...and windows...and bank accounts...The world can fight and die for itself while we use the foreign aid money to promote a new domestic economy...

Why is that so hard? Oh, and all sitting congressional delegates get pink slips. If you're over 65 and have had more than 3 terms, you're OUT! And, what would probably be controversial, is that congress needs to be reordered so that a democratic president doesn't hit the wall of a republican-led congress, or vise-versa...

So, to put it in simple terms - Fuck the world...Problem solved...


=-Rigs-=
 
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'Now, we gave you a promise and we are bound by that promise and damn you for asking for it! And damn me for agreeing to it! And damn all of us to hell, because that is exactly where we're going!'
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3. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 16:32 Creston
 
I like how they believe it's "billions of dollars."

Yeah, there aren't enough retards in the world buying THAT much virtual money, guys.

So Rolexes, sure, but I'm going to guess that you can't blame Jong-Il's nukes on Lineage.

Creston
 
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2. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 12:00 Techie714
 
WOW, 6 million in two years sounds like a pretty good deal. I had no idea their was this kind of money in farming? Who plays Lineage?  
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Steam (ID)
http://steamcommunity.com/id/techie714/
DEAD SH0T
Keep your privacy!
http://prism-break.org/
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1. Re: North Korea Farming for Gold, Nukes, and Rolexes? Aug 9, 2011, 11:46 Cutter
 
Well then the people need to fight for their freedom, don't they?
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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