Feeds

Japanese malware author admits guilt

Movie-munch miscreant on trial for copyright infringement

High performance access to file storage

A Japanese man has confessed to creating a data-destroying Trojan horse.

Masato Nakatsuji, 24, admitted in Kyoto District Court that he wrote a Trojan horse that incorporated copyrighted animation footage as a lure. The booby trapped file was distributed via the controversial Winny filesharing system in Japan last year.

Surfers who fell for the bait and opened the file risked finding their Windows PC infected with malware, identified by anti-virus firms as the Pirlames Trojan, that wiped music and movie files from compromised systems.

Two other men were also arrested alongside Nakatsuji, but are yet to stand trial

Nakatsuji admitted writing the malware during the first day of his trial on Tuesday, where he faces charges of copyright infringement and defaming an acquaintance by embedding his photograph within the malicious code. Oddly, he isn't being tried for virus writing.

Nakatsuji's defence team argues that the malware created by Nakatsuji caused little damage and that the interests of justice would not be served by imprisoning the graduate student for distributing a Trojan horse when there were no specific laws against it, English language Japanese daily The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Security watchers say Japan ought to consider drafting specific legislation clearly outlawing virus creation, currently something of a grey area in Japanese law. This legislative gap is unlikely to help Nakatsuji.

"If he is found guilty, the general public are unlikely to worry that it was his ill-advised choice of graphics which got him into legal trouble rather than virus-writing," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

The Pirlames Trojan is far from the first time the Winny filesharing network has been linked to malware-related security snafus. In May 2006, a virus was blamed for leaking power plant secrets via Winny for the second time in four months.

A month earlier, a Japanese anti-virus company was embarrassingly forced to concede that internal documents and customer information were leaked onto Winny after one of its workers failed to install anti-virus software.

Nakatsuji himself is in much the same trouble as Isamu Kaneko, the author of the Winny filesharing program. Kaneko was also charged with copyright violation in a case that ultimately resulted in a fine.

The case against Nakatsuji continues. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.