First virus-writing arrests in Japan

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 29, 2008

Winny worm authors brought to book - for copyright violation.

Japan has seen its first ever arrests of virus writers, with three men taken into custody in Kyoto last week and charged with creating worms targeting the Winny file-sharing platform. While no specific virus-writing offence exists under Japanese law, the men were charged with copyright infringement, thanks to the inclusion of images of some well-known animated characters in their creations.

One of the three, a 24-year-old graduate student, has apparently admitted to creating the malware, while his two confederates are thought to have helped distribute it across the Winny system. The malware in question is thought to be a worm reported last year, which displays images from the Clannad anime series accompanied by messages warning against the use of illegal file-sharing networks, and may destroy downloaded media on infected systems.

Law-makers in Japan have been debating the introduction of laws covering malware creation since 2004, but they have yet to be enacted thanks to wrangling over the coverage of the proposed amendments.

More details can be found in local reports at the Mainichi Daily News here (with a follow-up piece here) or the Daily Yomiuri here. Comment from Sophos is here and more on The Register is here.

Posted on 29 January 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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