An awesome tale from Friday's New York Times alleges that Mister Fun himself, Kim Jong-il, finances his nookular ambitions with the proceeds of an MMO-gold farming operation.
Cops in Seoul on Thursday arrested five persons who engaged a team of North Korean hackers to breach the servers for South Korean MMOs Lineage and Dungeon and Fighter, which allowed nonstop "play" by gold farming bots. The operation grossed more than $6 million in two years for the organizers, who gave 55 percent of it to the hackers.
But wait, it gets better. The hackers are "all graduates of North Korea's elite science universities," some of which work for a company with ties to "a shadowy Communist Party agency called Office 39," says the Times. Office 39 "gathers foreign hard currency for Mr. Kim through drug trafficking, counterfeiting, arms sales and other illicit activities," Holy shit, that is awesome. No one knows how to give shadowy organizations vague-yet-threatening titles like a totalitarian regime.
Office 39 is believed to oversee a slush fund worth billions, which funds North Korea's nuclear program and keeps the elites in Rolexes and caviar while the rest of the country eats that crud they put on Bruce Wayne's plate in Batman Begins. Or was that what James Bond had to eat in Die Another Day? Whatever, it was nasty.
Seoul Warns of Latest North Korean Threat: An Army of Online Gaming Hackers [The New York Times]