Man admits to writing anime trojan horse

Masato Nakatsuji, the 24-year-old who in January became the first ever virus writer to be arrested in Japan, admitted in Kyoto District Court that he created a Trojan horse and used popular copyrighted animation footage to spread it via the net, and ultimately wipe music and movie files from users’ computers.  The malicious code, believed to be the Pirlames Trojan, was spread via the controversial Winny file-sharing system in Japan in 2007.

Nakatsuji made the admission during the first day of the trial, where he answered charges of copyright infringement and defaming an acquaintance by embedding his photograph into the malicious code.

The court in Kyoto heard prosecutors describe how Nakatsuji is alleged to have created the Trojan horse, attached it to copyrighted animated pictures and planted links to it on internet message forums.  However, Nakatsuji’s defence team has argued that the malware was not seriously malignant, and that justice would not be served by punishing the graduate student of Osaka Electro-Communication University for spreading the Trojan horse when there were no specific laws against it.

Isamu Kaneko, the author of the Winny file-sharing program, was fined by a Japanese court in December 2006 for assisting in copyright violation.  The rights and wrongs of the case have been widely debated on the internet.

Source: Sophos.

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