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6 arrested in Japan for distributing Android malware via porn site

June 20, 2012 8:22am
In what could be a first of sorts in Japan, six men have been arrested for fleecing Android smartphone users of some Y20 million by distributing malware through a porn site.

A report on The Yomiuri Shimbun quoted the Metropolitan Police Department as saying this was the first time Japanese police built a case involving distribution of a smartphone virus.

Citing the MPD's investigation, the report said the app claimed to play videos and could be downloaded for free through an adult website, but upon launching would show a screen demanding fictitious fees.

Worse, the app would also steal users' personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses, police said.

Three of those arrested last Wednesday were identified as:

- Chitoru Manago, 45, of Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture
- Kazunori Makita, 27, of Edogawa Ward, Tokyo
- Hiroki Koyama, 53, of Setagaya Ward, Tokyo.

Manago is a former executive of a defunct information technology company in Nakano Ward, Tokyo. The two others are executives of different IT firms.

The Yomiuri Shimbun report said the app was downloaded 9,252 times since it was placed on the site on Dec. 30.

Of the 9,252 users, 211 paid about Y21 million in fictitious fees, the report quoted police as saying.

An investigation showed Makita allegedly came up with the idea of swindling money through a virus-bearing app, while Manago set up the company to run the adult site "NEW" while Koyama developed the virus.

The adult site targeted smartphones running Google Inc.'s Android, and would display a screen to demand payment of fictitious fees of Y99,800 per person.

"Please pay the fees as soon as possible. You need to confirm the unpaid amount. It totals 99,800 yen," read a screen that would be displayed every five minutes.

The app also stole users' phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other personal information, which the MPD said was stored on an overseas server. — LBG, GMA News
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