Team Korea ranked 1st in 2015, 3rd in 2016 and 4th this year at DEF CON, the world's most prestigious hacking competition held every year in the United States.
There is growing concern that Korea is losing its growth engine as China and Taiwan of the Greater China region ranked high in the global hacking contest, raising their status.
According to the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and security industry on September 25, the Taiwanese team Hitcon (sponsored by the Taiwanese Ministry of Economy) and the Chinese team A*0*E (sponsored by Tencent) claimed second and third place, after the US team PPP at the main event of DEF CON 2017 in Las Vegas in late July.
The KISA's analysis says that this result was attributable to active support from the Chinese government, large Chinese corporations such as Tencent and 360 Security. Also in April 2005, teams supported by Tencent and 360 Security became the champion and the runner-up at the Pto2Ow 2017, a hacking competition held in Tokyo, Japan.
The Korean team The East Sea participated for the first time in as a country of the Asian continent in 2006, and in 2015, the Korean team DEFKOR took first place. DEFKOR finished third in the competition last year and failed to win third or higher place in the competition this year by dropping to fourth place. Of the total 15 teams which made it to the finals, Korea had the highest-ever number of teams -- DEFKOR (4th place), RRR (9th place), Hacking4danbi (11th place) and Koreanbadass (14th place).
Korean teams participating in DEF CON consisted of about nine players per team, but the number of teams in the US, Taiwan and China entering the upper ranks had between 19 and 30 members per team. Moreover, there are hackers who have not been able to join the competition due to the expense of their stay. "Unlike China or Taiwan, the United States is not supported at the national level but faces a situation different from that faced by Korea because the US team has so many excellent hackers," said Cho Seong-woo, chief of the Cyber Security Talent Center. "Since the Korean team can receive limited support from the government, most members have no choice but to participate at their own expenses except for a few members."