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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    As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.

     

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