Ten prefectures have joined forces to arrest suspects involved in the latest major Japanese cryptojacking, according to The Asahi Shimbun‘s announcement made on 15 June.
Cryptojacking is the common practice used by hackers to use the processing power of users’ devices (without announcing them) for the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies.
According to the publication, the arrested defendants by Japanese prosecutors are suspected of mining cryptocurrencies by infecting users’ computers with malware. It’s assumed that the suspects owned several websites through which they promoted a malware software, including the Coinhive program, known for mining Monero (XMR).
16 men aged between 18 and 48 were arrested
The charge was filed against 16 suspects aged between18 and 48. Initial investigations led to the first arrest in early March, according to the report.
The alleged suspects have managed to mine cryptocurrencies amounting to 120,000 yen. It’s assumed that hackers would have retained only 70% of the total amount, while 30% went to Coinhive.
An expert in cybercrimes and professor at Konan Law School, Hisashi Sonoda, said in an interview that arrest was an uninvestigated measure, as authorities have not had to deal with such cases before.
Coinhive was founded in 2017 and has become over time a famous online tool that exploits the power of visitors’ computers to mine Monero. The project has been criticized since its launch, which is why numerous anti-virus software has blocked any unauthorized installation of the program. It’s known that the tool has been involved in numerous cryptojacking cases by infecting YouTube, official government and universities websites.
A new case involving Coinhive was opened last week
Earlier last week, the Japanese authorities opened a new case involving the Coinhive platform. Three individuals were suspected of distributing Coinhive malware. Following the investigation, it was identified that one of the three defendants received an order from Yokohama Summary Court to pay 100,000 yen for fines.
As previously reported by Coindoo, it was identified that about 5% of the total supply of Monero was obtained from cryptojacking.