Virus-writer charged - with copyright infringement
Japanese security services have on Thursday arrested an alleged virus writer. Japand does not currently have any law against creating malware, so he was arrested on charges of copyright infringement. Two accomplices were also arrested, and all three have admitted the offence.
The 24 year old Osaka University student, Masato Nakatsuji, had apparently created the virus for the popular Japanese Winny file sharing network. The virus gathers documents on an infected computer and makes them available for download from the file sharing network. According to Symantec, this resulted in the release of confidential documents from power stations, the police and ISPs. Some versions of the malware, Trojan.Haradong, replace the documents on the computer with an image file.
Japan has no laws banning authorship or distribution of computer viruses, which is why a little sleight of hand with copyright laws was required. Nakatsuji had concealed the malware in an image file showing an anime figure from the "Clannad" series, resulting in a breach of copyright.
- Trojan.Haradong Author and Accomplices Arrested, entry on the Symantec security blog
- 1st arrest made over virus creation, from the Japanese Herald Asahi newspaper