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Police Say Game Sites Hotbed of Cyber Crime

Source: The Korea Times
By Byun Duk-kun
Date: August 08, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime More than half of online crimes are related to game sites and the perpetrators are getting younger, the police said yesterday.

"The latest trends in cyber crimes are that they are getting more generalized and organized," Chang Yoon-shik, chief of Cyber Crime Investigation Team 1 at the National Police Agency (NPA), told The Korea Times yesterday.

The NPA yesterday announced the number of online crimes this year had reached more than 40,000 by the end of July, an 18 percent increase from that of same period last year.

"Previously cyber crimes were something that were committed only by computer specialists, but now teenagers are taking part in such crimes, and even those with no computer skills or backgrounds such as organized criminals are now taking part in cyber crime," Chang said. "Organized crime rings simply hire or conspire with computer experts because it makes money."

According to Chang, online game sites are the most frequent targets of cyber crimes. Out of some 40,000 cyber crimes committed this year, more than 22,000 were online game related, according to the NPA.

"This is because these online games are not treated just as online games, and their money not treated as imaginary money," Chang said. "A lot of cyber crimes involve cyber money, but people are buying and selling this cyber money with real cash."

Chang was cautious about saying whether online game sites are responsible for such crimes taking place offline.

"The world inside the Internet is another real time and space for these people. They can't buy real money or items with their cyber money, but they still buy and sell this money because they are rich and powerful as long as they are online," he said.

But a number of cyber crimes involving cyber gaming money show that cyber money is tradable for hard money. On July 3, the NPA arrested two hackers, including a 22-year-old college student identified as Choi, on charges of manipulating the server of an Internet game service provider to obtain 60 quadrillion won in cyber money and exchange it for 1.5 billion won in real money.

Original article at: http://times.hankooki.com/

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