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Man arrested for knocking out game rating board site

Attack method similar to cyber assaults in U.S., Korea

July 10,2009


A man has been arrested for attacking the Web site of the video game rating board in March this year using a similar method of cyber attack that knocked out dozens of Korean and U.S. sites in the past three days.

Two accomplices were indicted without detention, according to police.

Choi, 39, the chief executive of an agency that helps computer game software developers get ratings from the Game Rating Board, is accused of buying a hacking program from an accomplice, Yoo, 33, an ethnic Korean in China, for 450,000 won ($351).

Choi based the server in Shanghai and used it to paralyze the homepage of the ratings board, according to the police.

Choi is alleged to have received 10 million won in advance from one game developer for a review rating from the government game rating body. When the process took longer than expected, the developer pressed for a faster settlement. That’s when Choi decided to attack the site to make an excuse to his client, according to the police.

He made postings on Internet bulletins such as ones run by churches saying “MP3 files can be downloaded for free” with a link to a separate Web site. If people clicked on the site, they were directed to a pornographic video. While watching the video, the hacking program Choi had bought from China infected the watchers’ computers with a virus. These so-called zombies computers were then used for a distributed denial-of-service attack. A DDoS attack generates a large volume of traffic that paralyzes a specific Web site.

Choi managed to freeze the Game Rating Board 10 times between March 4 and 22, mobilizing some 7,400 hijacked computers. Some of the PCs that the police secured provided critical clues leading to Choi’s arrest, police said, adding that Choi used NetBot Attacker for his DDoS scam.

“Given that personal computers are increasingly infected with malicious programs for DDoS attacks through porn sites, Internet users are advised to refrain from accessing unverified Web sites and opening files and videos on the Web,” said Ahn Cheon-su, head of the Cyber Terror Response Center under the National Police Agency.



By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]




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