North Korea: Online Gambling as a Political Weapon?

Published September 18, 2015 by Lee R

North Korea: Online Gambling as a Political Weapon?

South Korea claims the North's Intelligence unit diverted funds for profit and dissension.

All online gambling operators beware, lest your technology falls into the wrong hands...

Online Gambling Goes Cold?

Online gambling has officially been used in the Korean conflict, says the South Korea government. 

While propaganda is always a potential weapon in the decades-old battle for minds and hearts between the two countries, these allegations stem from a newspaper report.  Dong A-Libo revealed that the North Korean government covertly planted a hidden program to monitor back end software data that was compiling online gambling traffic information. 

The Perpetrating Program

The program, called “Poker game server” was found with an IP address of “175.45.178,” an address linked to North Korea’s general intelligence bureau.  South Korea claims that the North's intelligence bureau is the organization that oversees cyber attacks against them. 

The Origin of the Attacks

The cyberattack accusations levied by South Korea in the report include the intelligence bureau previously paralyzing three computer networks of South Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN; as well as three additional computer networks belonging to three South Korean banks: Shinhan, NongHyup and Jeju banks.  These earlier attacks were reported to have taken place on March 20, 2013.

The program remained active on a continual basis from August 2013 until its recent discovery.   Online traffic data hacked on the backend by the intelligence agency included online casino data such as number of active players, jackpots at stake, total income, among other information. 

The front end was presented in the Korean language and allowed processing of credit cards, allegedly acting as spy software to divert funds from the notoriously high level of gambling activity from South Korea born of the popularity of gambling in the region. 

The Accusation

In other words, South Korea claims that the North Korean intelligence agency hacked into South Korean gambling sites as a gambling provider and diverted the funds paid by South Korean players.

A white hat hacker reports further estimated the high likelihood that the North intelligence bureau could have pillaged significant sums of money in South Korea by operating gambling sites or selling the program to “multiple South Korean organized crime rings.”

The path of the money remains to be revealed.

See also

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S. Korea to Get Microsoft Online Gaming

South Korea Revives with Updates on Key Emerging IR and Social Projects

Golf Betting: South Korea and USA Fight Over LPGA International Crown

Korea Emerges with a Unique Opportunity in These Trying Times for Punters

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