News / Science & Technology

South Korea Warns of Malware in Video Games

FILE - A researcher of Hauri, an IT security software company investigating computer viruses, works at a lab of the company in Seoul March 22, 2013.
FILE - A researcher of Hauri, an IT security software company investigating computer viruses, works at a lab of the company in Seoul March 22, 2013.

Related Articles

German Group Claims to Have Hacked iPhone Fingerprint Scanner

A group of hackers claims they have found a way to make 'fake fingers' that fool the new iPhone's fingerprint scanner

Japan to Upgrade Its Cyberdefense Capabilities

Mounting attacks, now averaging 3,000 per day, are driving Japan to pay more attention to cybersecurity

End of 'Silk Road' as US Shuts Down Black Market Drug Website

In a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New York, FBI agent Christopher Tarbell calls Silk Road 'the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today'
South Korean law enforcement is warning computer uses against downloading uncertified online gaming programs, according to local media.

The National Police Agency said Tuesday that some of the games may have been developed in North Korea and could contain malware that could be used in a cyber attack against the south.

The malware may collect location data and IP addresses and transmit them. The infected computers could also be used to launch distributed denial of service attacks, which use multiple computers to make millions of requests to websites and networks in attempt to overwhelm their capacity to distribute information.

Matthew Aid, an independent intelligence analyst, called the reports “incredible.

“What the North Koreans are doing is something akin to a honey trap for techno-crazed South Koreans,” he said. “No teen will ever pass up an offer for free games online.”

A study conducted in 2009 by the Korea Creative Content Agency concluded that about 7 percent of the nation's primary and secondary schoolchildren are addicted to computer games.

Aid added that it was concerning that “Norton Anti-Virus or the other forms of computer security systems in use in South Korea apparently are not detecting the presence of malware in the game programs being downloaded.”

“I wonder how that is possible. Are the North Korean viruses that sophisticated, or is the current generation of commercial computer security software that far behind the threat?” he said. “The answer may be both, which is really scary.”

North Korea has successfully used games to distribute malware. In June of last year, infected games delivered malware to computers which then launched a denial of service attack on Incheon Airport.

"The use of game applications to carry a malicious payload [malware] is not new, criminal entities do this regularly. North Korea can acquire it from any number of criminal entities or roll-their-own," said Christopher Burgess, CEO of Prevendra, Inc a privacy, intelligence and security entity. "South Korea commercial or government entities have every reason to be wary of a DDOS attack and/or malicious code attempting to exfiltrate commercial or governmental secrets. The bar to entry is not high for any entity, let alone an entity such as North Korea who can devote significant resources to buy or build."

Last March, Seoul also blamed North Korea's military spy agency for a cyber attack that affected 48,000 computers and servers, stalling operations at three top South Korean broadcasters and hampering financial services at banks for several days. Another attack in July was also blamed on Pyongyang.

North Korea is believed to have an elite cyber warfare unit that was suspected of being behind computer attacks on South Korean government agencies and financial institutions in 2009 and 2011.

Pyongyang denies the accusations. It accused the U.S. and South Korea of shutting down some of its own websites in March.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs