North Korean Megaweapon: Malware In Games, Porn

from the duke-nuclear-power? dept

Sharing time: I'm quite afraid of a lot of things in this life. Clowns, for instance, as well as female cats that just had kittens. Oddly, the Harris Bank lion has scared me since my childhood. Very small rocks. The American South. But, honestly, I'm not afraid of North Korea. Their threats tend to amount to piss-poor photoshopped pictures and videos that might be terrifying if their own enemies hadn't produced the footage for them. Now, I get that North Korea's government is a horrible threat to its own people and I dream nightly of the day when those people will be freed from their current leader and his never ending Bond-villain impression, but they just don't feel all that threatening to me. Why? Well, because their threats always seem to amount to a dud bottle-rocket, relatively speaking.

Take the latest dire warning out of South Korea, for instance, which amounts to reviled North Korean hackers trying to insert malware into software produced in North Korea for use in DDoS attacks.

In the latest criminal case, a North Korea hacker disguised himself as a software developer and offered to make online gaming programs for the arrested South Korean businessman at much cheaper prices than South Korean software developers, the NPA official said.

The North Korean-developed gaming programs, for which “thousands of dollars” had been paid by the arrested South Korean businessman, were all confiscated before spreading online, he said, adding if the programs had been developed by South Koreans, the price tag would have been much higher.
Er, okay, so "thousands of dollars" were spent by a South Korean on North Korean programming that went nowhere and then the South Korean was arrested. And, yes, South Korea is occasionally the target of DDoS attacks that likely come from the North, but so what? Nobody is buying North Korean games en masse, should such things even exist. And, while I'm sure they have some talented techno-mancers in North Korea, why would using their programmers to produce games when that practice is illegal and likely better talent exists elsewhere ever become a trend?

Now -- and this is just a crazy out there suggestion -- but what if those North Korean programmers actually made a game worth some money, distributed it to those countries still willing to do business with them, and then, oh, I don't know, used the income to feed their own people on occasion? I know that doesn't make you a super-cool mega-villain, Supreme Leader, but at least it'd be more effective than constantly cleaning the egg off your face.



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Zem, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 6:33pm

    Surely NK just aspire to be a country where they put back doors in security software, spies on everything their own people say and do over the internet, and taps friendly foreign leaders phone calls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 7:11pm

    Why? Well, because their threats always seem to amount to a dud bottle-rocket, relatively speaking.


    Lets conveniently "forget" the NUCLEAR TIPPED CRUISE MISSILES being developed. Perhaps they can sell that technology to some country (or group) willing to trade with them.

    Oh and if you think the 'citizens' of North Korea get to keep money they are eared, or are able to buy food with it, then you really need to get out of your mom's basement. (and into the nearest bomb shelter).

    Don't worry what their "threats" amount too, what about the constant attacks over the border into the South, or the attacking of ships in their waters (including US).

    NK does not think it EVER has "egg on it's face", I don't understand what you are trying to get at Tim.

    I am thinking you have almost ZERO understanding of what North Korea is like, and that things "just don't work that way there"

    Why would they sell games and give the people food, when they can sell weapon technology and give the leader more power?

    Come back to reality Tim, I think you watch too many movies, and read TD too much.

    Here a crazy suggestion, LEARN SOMETHING before you talk about it, lest you look like an idiot.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 7:36pm

    Nobody is buying North Korean games en masse, should such things even exist.


    That's where you're wrong. Many countries in the East (and west!) consume LOTS of products made in North Korea. Animation is a big one (many, many animation firms pay fractions of cents for inbetweens and keyframes for animated footage for cartoons from what amounts to slave labor).


    And yes, as well as programming. Boilerplate code doesn't grow on trees and is difficult for computers to make by itself. The modern programs are built on massive amounts of code and computer work done by many hundreds of people. As device programs and the codebases they are built on become larger and more complex, there is a demand for cheap grunt-work code made in slave-like conditions. Not even China can produce such huge amounts of tedious foundation coding. Mostly because China has the audacity to feed it's workers and let them sleep. No having to worry about that with North Korean programmers! I would be amazed if they buried the coders who died at their desks instead of grinding them up and using them as food.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 8:11pm

    Hackers of the world, unite! Welcome to the 1980s, NK!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 8:41pm

    Now THERE'S a really good use for our drone program!

     

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  6.  
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    Paraquat (profile), Oct 25th, 2013 @ 8:59pm

    North Korea's government is truly evil

    This article upsets me, because it greatly downplays the evil that is North Korea's government. It may be true that North Korea doesn't look so scary when you live thousands of miles away from it - looks a lot scarier when you live in Seoul (as I have) and you know that all sorts of chemical and bioweapons are pointed at you. But North Korea's dangers reaches further than the Korean peninsula.

    Weapon sales to dictators are a big source of North Korea's funds. OK, that is true for the USA as well (and indeed, I think the USA has a lot of evil to answer for). But North Korea is willing to sell conventional, chemical and bioweapons to any African banana republic with enough cash. I can't say I'd feel right comfortable if Sudan and Somalia are buying that stuff, paying for it with blood diamonds. Now that North Korea is alleged to have nukes, that adds a new dimension to this issue.

    Video games with Trojans are the least of my worries.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 9:59pm

    JK :P

    "Very small rocks"

    That's what she said.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 26th, 2013 @ 5:27am

    Re: North Korea's government is truly evil

    "Video games with Trojans are the least of my worries."

    Which was the entire point of the article. Thanks....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    Let me guess their new mega weapon is Photoshop 2.5?

     

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  10.  
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    Kal Zekdor (profile), Oct 26th, 2013 @ 11:10pm

    Re:

    I think you need to research the differences between North Korea and South Korea...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2013 @ 3:06am

    Re:

    "Here[s] a crazy suggestion, LEARN SOMETHING before you talk about it, lest you look like an idiot"

    Need I say more?

    OK, Just a little....

    North Korea have repeatedly proven themselves to be the petulant child country of the planet. They threaten to start war with the biggest powers in the world just so they can get handouts to feed their people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymouse Coward, Oct 27th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

    Hey, don't belittle the egg on the face - it's a vital part of the food production system for North Korea.

    I just can't figure out why all the people are starving.

     

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  13.  
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    Alt0, Oct 28th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    Getting back on topic...

    What I got from the article (at least the first part) was that the guy who was arrested outsourced some coding to a NK programmer for a game that would then be released as a SK product. So whether NK sold lots of video games around the world is not an issue at all.
    In fact the fact it was involving games was probably not even an issue. It was most likely that if your in SK you are not allowed to trade in ANY fashion with the North.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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