Japanese man arrested for storing malware

38-year-old Yasuhiro Kawaguchi is the first person in Japan to get arrested for storing malware on his computer after the upper house’s Judicial Affairs Committee has confirmed the new anti-malware law passed by the Japanese parliament.

The law considers the creation, distribution and storage of malware a crime punishable with up to three years in prison and a fine that could reach the sum of 500,000 yen ($6,200).

Kawaguchi has been arrested at his home in Ogaki on Sunday. According to the Daily Yomiuri, the malware found on his computer is capable of “copying vast amounts of graphic elements and files on a computer, causing it to freeze or malfunction.”

It seems that Kawaguchi will only be charged with storing the malware, although it is believed he is also its creator. He has admitted too the police that he has been creating viruses since 2007, but seems to have developed this particular one before the new law was confirmed.

According to his own words, Kawaguchi masqueraded the malware as a innocuous file with a name that suggested it has something to do with child pornography. He then proceeded to make it available for download via file-sharing.

He claims his intentions were to punish users of file-sharing software, and he managed to “punish” some 2,000 individuals before getting arrested.

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