By Seo Ji-eun, Lee Weon-ho
February 14, 2006
Hackers have used the private information of hundreds of people to
register on the Web site of "Lineage," one of Korea's most popular
online games. Complaints to the game developer, NCsoft Corp., have
been rapidly piling up.
The company said yesterday that it had received up to 600 reports so
far of people being registered without their knowledge as members of
the role-playing games "Lineage" and "Lineage 2." The two games have a
combined subscriber base of 2 million members.
The Ministry of Information and Communication also said that a large
number of people have posted notes on Internet communities and portal
sites, saying that their names and resident registration numbers were
used to sign up with the game site without their permission.
"This is the first time that such a huge number of illegal name usage
cases have been discovered," said an NCsoft spokesman. "The majority
of the registrations took place between last November and January this
year." He added that it seems highly likely that the major portal
sites or online communities were hacked, but the company is now
conducting an investigation.
In Korea, gamers can only register one account per person. Observers
speculate that hackers used stolen identities to play multiple games,
thus earning more virtual items that can be sold for cash.
Regarding this case, online industry experts estimate that the total
number of netizens whose information was pilfered and used without
their consent on the game site could reach the hundreds of thousands,
considering the number of official reports already.
In order to check if one's private information has been used, one can
and type in one's name and resident registration number. The firm's
customer center is accepting reports via telephone at 1566-6600.
The police will take action as soon as the investigation reveals the
cause and method of the information leakage.
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