14-Year-Old Japanese Boy Arrested for Creating Ransomware
On Monday, June 6th, 2017, Japanese authorities arrested a 14 year old boy in Osaka for allegedly creating and distributing a Ransomware virus. This is the first ever arrest of this kind in the country which related to Ransomware crime.
This boy is a secondary school student in Osaka Prefecture. He has been charged with cyber crime of creating a Ransomware. A Ransomware is a malicious software program that is coded to control the user from accessing his computer or files. And to regain that access, he is required to pay a ransom which is to be paid through free encryption software which conceals the identity of the programmer. The ransom is usually paid in Bitcoins in order to get the decryption key required to gain the access.
In the last couple of years, Ransomware has become a serious cyber threat to the users across the globe. The Ransomware developer by this 14-year-old boy is very much similar to WannaCry, which was in news for global cyber attacks in the month of May 2017. Within a span of 72 hours, it hit more than 300,000 computers across the world.
The student has been reported to admit to the allegations. According to various Japanese media sources, he has agreed that he developed the malware and uploaded the source code on a foreign website to spread it across to make money. He also trained users to download and use it. He admitted to combine free encryption software to program his own Ransomware infection.
In addition, The teen confirmed that he advertised the malware using social networking platform. He told users on social media “I made Ransomware. Please feel free to use it” to spread it across. Apparently this Ransomware has been downloaded for about 100 times, thereby infecting the computer and asking for ransom. But by far there have been no reports of economic toll.
The intention of the teenage boy behind creating this kind of program was to become famous. His curiosity compelled him to learn to create a malware on his own. For this he allowed Downloader to infect computers of the victims and demand a ransom in form of digital currency. He took just 3 days to create the malware and all that he required was his personal computer.
We are all aware of the havoc created by WannaCry which affected almost 150 countries. Reputed companies and institutions across UK, Spain, Germany, Russia, China, France and Japan became a victim to this Ransomware.
Though there is nothing wrong with learning codes, but misusing them for creating malware and spreading them for financial gains or popularity is definitely a crime. If coding interests you then you can surely have a career in programming so that you can develop interesting codes to benefit the world. This teenage Japanese boy is an example for all of us that how a talent with lack of direction can create havoc in many lives.