Malaysian -based SEA Gamer Mall said on Thursday it is looking into the indictment papers issued by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in which two of its staff members were charged with being involved in an international hacking group. The online game store released a statement saying it had been “made aware of the American allegations against two employees of the company recently”. The two employees, Wong Ong Hua and Ling Yang Ching, are on temporary leave pending the resolution of the matter, it stated. US charges 5 Chinese nationals, 2 Malaysians in hacking of more than 100 targets “As a responsible company serving millions of customers around the world we are committed to and have been offering full cooperation and assistance to the authorities,” SEA Gamer Mall said. “Without compromising the integrity of any ongoing legal process, suffice to say that the company has never engaged in any illegal activity as we are a home-grown Malaysian company with hundreds of employees and millions of customers all around the world.” The company assured customers it will take “significant steps to manage the claims”. The DoJ charged Wong, 46, and Ling, 32 with 23 counts of racketeering, conspiracy, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, money laundering, violations of the CFAA (computer fraud and abuse act), and falsely registering domain names. Wong is the founder and chief executive office of SEA Gamer Mall, which is based in Sitiawan, Perak while Ling is listed as a partner and chief product officer, according to the company website. “First, as the core of APT-41’s computer hacking, the Chinese defendants targeted well over 100 victims worldwide in a variety of industries and sectors that are, sadly, part of the standard target list for Chinese hackers,” said US Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A Rosen in a statement. “These criminal acts were turbocharged by a sophisticated technique referred to as a ‘supply chain attack’, in which the Chinese hackers compromised software providers around the world, and modified the providers’ code to install back doors that enabled further hacks against the software providers’ customers,” he said. “Second, and as an additional method of making money, several of the Chinese defendants compromised the networks of video game companies worldwide (a billion-dollar industry) and defrauded them of in-game resources,” the statement said. “Two of the Chinese defendants stand accused, with two Malaysian defendants, of selling those resources on the black market, through their illicit website.” China-backed hackers targeted EU officials: US cybersecurity firm At this point it is unclear what the in-game resources are, as these could be in-game currency for purchasing virtual goods like clothes or even art assets of a video game. Gaming analytics company Newzoo reported that 20.1 million gamers in Malaysia spent US$673 million on games in 2019, making it one of the biggest gaming markets in Southeast Asia. Most gamers spent money on in-game items or virtual goods with the most common being power-ups or additional abilities for a game avatar. Malaysian YouTuber Cupcake Aisyah overcomes harassment, hate and hacking SEA Gamer Mall was established in 2007 with offices in China, Thailand and Indonesia. On its website, the company claimed it has 1.9 million registered users and, in a 2017 news article, Wong was quoted as saying most of the website’s sales came from prepaid top-up cards and online game virtual items. The company netted 386 million ringgit (US$93 million) in revenue in 2019 and is projected to hit 500 million ringgit (US$120 million) this year as the Covid-19 pandemic has led to more people playing games and purchasing in-game items, Chieng said in a LifestyleTech report. The US DoJ report stated that Wong and Ling were arrested on September 14 through cooperation with local enforcement authorities and are now facing extradition proceedings. Read the original article on The Star .