Hackers fleece online poker players

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Hackers fleece online poker players

Police arrested 33 hackers who used a “distribution of denial of service” program to cheat online poker players out of 55 million won ($45,265) from last November through May.

The hackers, led by 30-year-old Yu and 29-year-old Kim, were booked without detention on charges of gaining illegal profits.

The Cyber Terror Response Center in Gyeonggi said the gang used a DDOS attack to infect 11,000 computers at 700 PC rooms across the country.

Police said Yu bought the “Netbot Attacker” program from a Chinese hacker last November, then sold copies online to Kim and others. The gang broke into the administrative systems of the PC rooms and installed the virus in their computers to allow them to see the hands of poker opponents.

Netbot Attacker is one of the programs that attacked Korea’s major Internet sites on July 7, 2009, slowing down connection speeds throughout the country and disabling the major sites for six days. Recent versions of Netbot Attacker update too fast for security programs to keep up with them, but attempts to control DDOS attacks have inflated the price of the program from 3 million won to 15 million won in the last year.

Netbot Attacker lets users see the keyboard and monitor of another user, and steal their files. A hacker can use Netbot to commandeer all the computers infected by a program, and use them in a concerted attack on a Web site. The original owner of a DDOS program that’s been copied for sale can commandeer all the clones.

According to Kim Ki-dong, captain of the Cyber Terror Response Center, “Only 2,000 computers participated in last year’s DDOS, but if all the computers infested by this group were used in a DDOS attack, the damage would have been devastating.”

Police speculate that the programs sold by Chinese hackers are spread nationwide. They are planning a joint investigation with the National Intelligence Service.

By Yu Gil-yong [enational@joongang.co.kr]
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