Japanese police bust malware extortionist ring

Japanese police have arrested two individuals accused of spreading a nefarious piece of malware that stole personal information and posted it on the Internet.

According to Sophos security researcher Graham Cluley, the devious duo contacted compromised victims and offered to remove their personal data from the Internet for a hefty fee.

“The malware was reportedly spread via the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing network posing as an adult-themed Hentai game. Upon installing the program, victims were asked to enter their name, date of birth, contact details and other personal information,” said Cluley. 

“At the same time, information such as browser bookmarks were being stolen from the users’ computer. At this point afflicted users probably didn’t realise anything untoward has occurred. [They] later they received an email, asking for a fee to be paid to have the information removed.”

Cluley added that over 5,000 PCs had been targeted by the two extortionists.

“Maybe there’s a lesson here? If you’re Japanese, stop getting your anime and porn kicks from P2P downloads – you don’t know what kind of mess you could be getting yourself into.

“And always think twice before handing your personal information over to complete strangers via a website or computer program.”