A 38 year-old Japanese man is facing up to two years in prison after being arrested on suspicion of storing a computer virus without a legitimate reason.
Yasuhiro Kawaguchi of Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, is the first to be arrested under new laws brought in earlier this month which ban the storage of a virus for the purposes of infecting other PCs, as well as the creation and distribution of viruses, said the Daily Yomiuri.
Up until now, cyber criminals have had to be prosecuted in the country under other laws, for crimes such as copyright infringement or property damage.
Kawaguchi uploaded and distributed an infected file to the web via file-sharing software Share. The file in question was given a title suggesting it was child pornography, and he carried out the attack in order to punish those using file-sharing software, according to the paper.
The virus could have infected as many as 2,000 users of the Share software, and was crafted to freeze a victim's PC by "repeatedly copying vast amounts of graphic elements and files on a computer", the Yomiuri said.
Kawaguchi's arrest follows the news that a Tokyo district court has jailed 28 year-old Masato Nakatsuji after he was found guilty of creating and distributing the notorious manga-inspired ika tako computer virus.
While the two cases in Japan are a far cry from the more serious and large-scale activities of Anonymous and LulzSec, for example, they nevertheless illustrate something of a legal clampdown by developed nations on cyber criminals.
In the UK, several arrests have been made over LulzSec and Anonymous, while more recently, three men were jailed after the Police Central e-Crime Unit uncovered a multi-million pound phishing campaign.
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