DoS attack cripples $1 billion virtual games trade - blackmailers blamed

A massive denial of service attack has disabled some of the world's largest virtual goods trading sites. The Korea-based sites hit by the attack are responsible for a substantial portion of the country's estimated $1bn trade in virtual gold, weapons and other items for games like World of Warcraft.

Spokesmen for some of the trading sites affected, which include ItemBay, ItemMania, ItemPF and ItemRia initially claimed that they were offline for technical reasons, local media report. Later, ItemRia admitted in an online notice that the outages have been caused by a flood of traffic, apparently directed by hackers. An ItemPF spokesperson has since made a similar admission, according to local media.

The sites have been difficult or impossible to access for at least the past four days, according to Korean media (links are in Korean). Error messages returned suggest that servers are overloaded or have been deliberately taken off line.

World of Warcraft GraphicChinese 'blackmail' claim

Local press reports have blamed Chinese hackers for the attacks, citing claims from unnamed online security sources that the torrent of unwanted incoming traffic originated from large numbers of Chinese internet addresses.

In the past, malicious hackers have used denial of service (DoS) attacks from botnets to extort money from commercial website operators. Local media have claimed that blackmail is the aim of the current wave of attacks. The sites affected reportedly handle more than 90 percent of Korea's online item trading - a business now worth more than $3m a day, according to Korean government statistics.

Several of of the virtual item trading sites hit in the current attack also suffered an unexplained intermittent outage over several days at the end of September.

Players use the item trading sites to buy and sell gold, weapons and other items from massively multiplayer online games. Players do this because they do not wish to repeat sections of the game they have already played, or because they lack the time - or in some cases, the skill - to obtain these items by simply playing the game. Some sites also offer services such as rapidly increasing a character's level or experience points with round-the-clock play by skilled players.

You forgot to mention the

You forgot to mention the part about buying and selling gold and items in many of these games being against the Terms of Service. I believe there are lawsuits pending.

Good luck with that

Nice Article.

 Anyways, farming or selling in game currency does not break a Real Life Law. TOS or EULA is an agreement between the Gaming Company and End User. If its such a problem for the Gaming Company, they can ban them. and stop these "farmers". But the reality is that these "farmers" make a substantial percentage of the Game Companies income. They all pay USD to obtain game accounts, like any general End User does, and not to mention the annual subscribers fee - to the Game Companies.

Pending Law Suits wont break thru. good luck with that.

The thing with companies attempting to process lawsuits, is just a part of any good business plan. The gaming companies are an industry. And not generating lawsuits against a company feeding of themselves, would be a bad business plan. They are there to make money and nothing else.

Tho an actual "farmer" can give u more understanding or know what is morally right and reimburse your losses, than an employee thats working for the big man, at a game company. that has to follow pure company policy.

In reality, it's not only a billion dollar industry. it's thousands if not millions of workspaces In Real Life; in countries that has a higher population number than available work.


These people are parasites

These people are parasites imo. I don't feel a bit sorry for them.


i know im short but there is something that i would mention that in some contrys its
illegal to sell currensy en games if ya dont get any matirial that actully is real if you dont its not legal to sell


First of thats some business and that whats how they live. So why not stfu and what happen happen o wells. YOu nerds just get mad because that finally affects u the online gold selling. Why dont you open your eyes and there are other things that actually harming people like drugs dealers. Damn you fat pimple virgin still living wiht mommy nerds. Dont tell me that you guys never did something ilegal or still doing so just stfu.

Yes, it is illegal

Ignoring the comments made by the reprehensible moron above.. (married with children thanks kid) yeah, this practice is illegal for one very plain reason. Items within the game are considered the intellectual property of the company that owns the game. You do NOT own the items you have acquired in game. You rent an account, and you are given permission to access and use certain things. This privilege can be taken away at any time, hence it is perfectly legal to ban a player for instance and not compensate them for their 'lost items', because they never really owned any items, they just rented them from the company. Those with intellectual property rights can decide what is and is not acceptable use of their property (barring the Fair Use doctrine) and they have made it quite clear that selling their property for personal real-life profit is forbidden.

I have zero sympathy for these criminals. They are fraudsters, parasites, they make a dishonest living from other people's hard work. Would you have sympathy for a software pirate who made his money selling copies of other people's work? Would you have sympathy for a fraudster, or con-man? No? Then you cannot possibly have sympathy for these bastards either.

Agreed, that farming and stealing

Agreed, that farming and stealing other players' items is simply reprehensible. As in real life, the reaps of a player's labor should benefit that player and not be exploited or taken advantage of by other players.

About this

The warm feeling I get when someone is thoughtful enough to say thank you for having been helped far outweighs the empty one I get when there's no feedback at all. Virtual Currency

I think China is one of the

I think China is one of the biggest hub of games that`s why chinese hackers for the attacks, citing claims from unnamed online security sources that the torrent of unwanted incoming traffic originated from large numbers of Chinese internet addresses.

Thanks for sharing information

It's amazing to think how

It's amazing to think how big the virtual currency business is. It seems that most of these websites that sell gold and game items originate from China.

No.... I don't agree... Its

No.... I don't agree... Its Totally Illegal.

Players use the item trading

Players use the item trading sites to buy and sell gold, weapons and other items from massively multiplayer online games

I believe that the denial of

I believe that the denial of service attacks that originate from Botnets are a waste of their resources, in recent studies it has been shown that spam and collecting keys from the local computers the bot net has infected earns a lot more money than black mail.