Japanese Officials Arrest Their First-ever Ransomware Developer

The good guys have scored a major victory on cybercriminals in Japan. The local police authorities arrested a Japanese ransomware developer. It is the first time such an arrest takes place. Even though the suspect is only 14 years old, it will be interesting to see how he or she will be punished. This also goes to show ransomware developers should be quite concerned over getting arrested, regardless of where they live.

Japanese Police Arrests Ransomware Developer

This new development is quite significant in the ongoing war against cybercriminals. Now that the first ransomware-related arrest has been made in Japan, things will be shifted into a higher gear from here on out. Bringing these developers to their knees needs to be a top priority for any police organizations around the world. Ransomware has become a very serious threat, and it appears the people responsible for these attacks can often get away without repercussions.

Things will turn out quite different for this 14-year-old ransomware developer in Japan, though. The teen has been charged with the creation of malicious tools and uploading the code online. Even though this is the person to be arrested for ransomware crimes in Japan, it is doubtful the teen should expect any leniency whatsoever. In fact, it is possible the Japanese authorities will try to make an example out of this person to dissuade others from following similar paths.

Authorities in Japan remain secretive when it comes to the name of this individual. Then again, it makes sense since we are dealing with an underage person. We do know it appears to be a male suspect, albeit even that part has not been officially confirmed by the authorities. It appears this person lives in the town of Takatsuki, and created an undisclosed type of ransomware on January of 2017. The source code of this project was uploaded to a server.

It is of the utmost importance to note the teenager never distributed the ransomware, but merely shared the source code with the world. It is possible someone used to create their own malware strain and distribute that on a global scale, albeit it seems unlikely at this point. The teenager did purposefully share the site containing the source code through various social media channels. It is evident he or she wanted recognition for this project, rather than do actual harm to others.

According to unofficial sources, the teenager learned to code during spells of free time. it is good to see young people show an interest in writing computer code. Unfortunately, this effort resulted in creating a piece of software that could quite easily cause havoc for thousands of people worldwide. Given the recent media attention to ransomware, it is not entirely surprising people will try to code something along those lines together, though.

The bigger question is whether or not this teenager will face any criminal charges for creating a potentially unused ransomware strain. Convicting an underage individual is always problematic in any region of the world. Then again, authorities need to send a clear warning to anyone in Japan interested in creating ransomware. It will be an interesting case to keep an eye on, that much is evident.

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