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Japanese police have arrested a suspected virus writer over allegations he created and distributed an old-school virus that targeted freetards and destroyed data.

Masato Nakatsuji, 27, from Osaka, allegedly created the "ika-tako" (squid-octopus) virus. The malware programmed to searched out and destroyed data files from file sharing networks and replaced them with a supposedly humorous icon of an octopus. The malware targeted users of file-sharing networks.

The malware was created in July 2009 and subsequently seeded onto file sharing networks, claiming an estimated 50,000 victims in the process.

Nakatsuji told police he wanted to test his programming skills as well as punish file sharers, the Japan Times reports.

The paper adds that Nakatsuji is believed to be the first person charged with destroying property by using a computer virus.

He previously received a suspended two-year prison sentence back for copyright infringement via the creation of a computer virus, an offence likely to mean that he's almost certain to go to prison as a recidivist offender if convicted over his latest alleged offence. ®

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