Winny Trojan author arrested in Japan

The author and two associates are accused of violating copyright laws.

On Thursday, Japanese authorities announced the arrest of a college student and two associates who are alleged to have written and distributed a Trojan horse via a popular peer-to-per network.

Because Japan currently lacks computer crime laws, the three (whose names were withheld) were instead arrested on copyright violations. Between October and November of 2007, the author of a Trojan known as Harada used images of a popular anime character to entice users of the Winny P2P network to download the malware.

Computers infected with one strain of Harada displayed a message saying, "You're already dead. Come here. And apologize to me. If you don't, this PC will self-destruct." On other infected computers, system files are erased or music and video files are replaced with images of a person named Harada.

McAfee Avert Labs says it has identified more than 70 variants of Harada (detected by McAfee users as either Del-500 trojan or Uploader-AH trojan). As is often the case, not all the variants can be traced to the original author.

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