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5 Tokyo devs cuffed over 'The Movie' Android app scam

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Japanese cops have arrested five developers accused of planting malware in smartphone applications.

A video app for Android phones created by the group allegedly harvested information from 90,000 smartphones. Details in early reports are sketchy but thehackernews.com reports that the apps were marketed to customers by adding the phrase "The Movie" to popular game titles.

English language daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the malware harvested an estimated 10 million pieces of personal information from compromised devices before the police started taking an interest. The malware was allegedly distributed via Google Play with the aid of a Tokyo-based IT firm. The head of the firm and four other unnamed suspects have been arrested in connection with the case.

Japanese police describe the case as the biggest case of information theft of its type to hit the country to date.

Separately, police in Osaka arrested an executive of online dating agency for distributing smartphone malware that posed as a battery-saving utility. Kazuhiro Ri of Osaka, an executive of MobyDick, faces accusations that he distributed five smartphone Trojans that harvested personal information from the compromised devices of marks. The dodgy apps were downloaded by 3,500 people across Japan, Yomiuri Shimbun reports. ®

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