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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs