Six arrested for peddling Android malware in Japan

Six men – among which are three IT executives – have been arrested in Japan for having allegedly used Android malware to “earn” themselves over 20 million yen (around half a million US dollars) from unsuspecting victims.

The malware in question was marketed as a video playing application and was offered for download on an adult website set up by the suspects.

Once downloaded and run, it would badger the users by requesting them to pay a 99,800 yen (around $1,256) fee every few minutes, in addition to stealing their personal data and storing it on a remote server for future use.

The malicious app has been available for download since late December 2011, and has since then been downloaded by 9,252 users. Of those, 211 individuals fell for the scam and paid the requested fee.

The Daily Yomiuri revealed the names of three of the arrested men, pointing out that one of them – the one that came up with the scam idea – was a former executive of a defunct Tokyo IT company, and two still occupied such a position in two other IT firms.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department believes that one of them is also the actual developer of the malicious app.

There’s no mention of the charges and potential sentences they might be facing, but with the recent introduction of the law that makes malware creation and distribution a criminal act, Japan finally has tools to punish transgressors such as these.

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