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Japanese police cuff Hentai smut scam suspects

The long tentacle of the law

Japanese police have arrested two men over suspected involvement in a Hentai-themed malware scam campaign.

Oka Akira, 27, from Tokyo, and an unnamed 20-year-old are both suspected of defrauding “tens of thousands” of Japanese Yen from a minority of the 5,000 victims they exposed to malware, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports. Akira was arrested on Tuesday two weeks after the younger man, who can't be named because he was 19 at the time of his alleged malfeasance.

The duo allegedly posted malware (which Trend Micro identifies as the Kenzero Trojan) that posed as a cracked copy of a Hentai-based game onto the Winny file-sharing websites. The supposed installer for the game brought up a form requiring the user to enter personal information. This information, alongside the IP address of a computer and web browsing history, were then posted on a publicly available website.

Marks then received an email offering to remove this information in return for a fee. A blog post by Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro explains the scam in much greater detail.

Ferguson told El Reg that the malware was used to run an extortion-based scam that relied on attempts to exploit the embarrassment of victims.

The two suspects face possible charges under Japanese computer fraud law rather than over the distribution of a computer virus, which isn't a specific offence in Japan.

It's two years since the first arrest of a suspected VXer in Japan. In that case the Trojan (write-up by Sophos here) posed as an application for displaying Anime characters but was actually programmed to wipe music and movie files from victims' hard drives. The alleged perp was charged with violating copyright law. ®

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