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Japanese Fraud Ring Members Arrested for Malware Scam

Six members of a Japanese fraud ring were arrested by police after distributing malware that rendered a victim’s computer unusable until payment was received. Similar to scareware, which is malware that tells victims their computer has a virus and they must enter credit card information to remove it, this malicious program opens a window to collect payment that cannot be minimized, closed or moved. The malware also ensures that the window opens up each time the machine is rebooted to continue hindering use of the infected device. This type of malware has been referred to as ransomware and one-clickware.

The fraud ring was based out of Kyoto, Japan and had been repeating this scam for some time. While it is not certain how long the fraud ring had been spreading their ransomware a security expert from Trend Micro reported that incidences of this malware quadrupled in the past twelve months and authorities estimate the fraud ring made 12 million Yen from the scam, nearly $150,000. The fraud ring targeted adult sites to spread their malware, when someone clicked to play a video it would instead execute the malicious program. There have been at least 118 different websites that hosted this malware but for the most part this scam only affected Japan.


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