Computer Crime Research Center


A Struggle of 18 Days with 280,000 Text Messages

Date: December 13, 2004
By: Se-Jin Jung

“I am very proud that I played a role in creating a new social mood that allows those who did their best to be treated and evaluated properly.”

As the chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Cyber Crime Investigation Squad, police major Kim Jae-gyu, 42, looked exhausted after finally completing his team’s 18-day investigation on Friday into exam cheating on this year’s college entrance exam with suspects using cell phone messages.

With full national attention focused on the investigation, the police major and 16 team members have not had a single day of comfortable rest due to the burden of thoroughly cracking down on every cheater and by preventing any wrongly accused exam takers who might suffer from the accusations. Finally relieved, Kim and his team repeatedly said, “Now, we will be able to sleep soundly without the pressure.”

With their sound and successful efforts, the outcome of the investigation is fruitful. Thanks to their clever investigation strategy of analyzing mobile phone messages, they indicted 182 test takers without physical detention by Friday.

Kim’s team began its probe on November 23, amid peaked investigation into alleged large-scale cheating by using cell phones in the Gwangju area. If the illegal acts were conducted in that city, his team believed, it was highly likely that students in other areas had also been involved in cheating using phones. Then, on November 25, the Cyber Crime Investigation Squad obtained seize and search warrants for each of the nation’s three largest mobile communications providers to screen their records of text message exchanged by their service users.

The amount of data handed over to the investigation team was roughly 280,000 cases that consisted of numbers from one to five, sorted out from 300 million text messages sent on the test day.

“In the beginning of the probe, we didn’t think that many illegal acts would be committed. However, as we found snowballing messages suspected to be used in cheating, my team and I were stunned.”

The police major who played a significant role in the investigation has built a distinguished career.

Kim has uncovered many high-profile cases still vivid in people’s memories including the acquisition tax embezzlement by public officials of Incheon’s North Ward Office in 1994, a raid into a broadcasting station by devotees of the Manmin Church in 1999, and the so-called “Miari Texas” sex trade agents’ kickbacks taken by public officials in 2000.

He recalled, “It was very difficult to investigate this case because it was sorrowing to find many young students regretful for their illegal acts committed by their wrong decisions.”
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2004-12-17 18:14:43 - i think thats not really cool because they... viewer
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