A group of South Korean hackers stole 8.5 billion Korean won (US$6.7 million) worth of cryptocurrencies from Kim Jung-ju, the late founder and former chief executive officer of South Korean game developer Nexon Co., Ltd. in May, local media reported on Thursday.

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Fast facts

  • The Seoul Eastern District Court sentenced Chang (first name undisclosed) to six years in prison in November, but the incident flew under the radar until Thursday’s media reports. The leader of the cybercrime group is reportedly still on the loose.
  • Chang allegedly pirated Kim’s mobile SIM card to extract his personal information, which the cybercriminals used to siphon Bitcoin, Ether and other assets from the late billionaire’s account at South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit in May, local media outlets reported.
  • Korbit’s compliance team reportedly detected the suspicious activity and alerted the local police force in June.
  • Nexon’s Holding company, NXC, is a 65% majority shareholder of Korbit, one of the five fully-licensed exchanges in South Korea.
  • Nexon, founded in 1994, is one of the first and largest game companies in South Korea, that has produced popular franchises such as MapleStory, Dungeon&Fighter and KartRider. The company is headquartered in Japan, while its holding company is based in South Korea.
  • Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nexon had a market capitalization of 2.62 trillion Japanese yen (US$19.5 billion), as of Dec. 29.
  • Kim passed away on Feb. 27, 2022 and the cause of his death remains undisclosed.

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