Serial virus writer jailed for orange cartoon octopus malware

According to media reports, a 28-year-old Japanese man has been sent to prison for two years and six months, after spreading a virus across the internet which damaged data on victims’ computers.

In a first for the country, Japan has applied property destruction charges to the creator of a computer virus.

28-year-old Masato Nakatsuji wrote malware known locally as “ika-tako” (squid-octopus) which spread via the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing network in May to July last year, replacing affected files with an image of an orange cartoon octopus.

That’s not the kind of thing which is looked on kindly at the best of times, but what makes the case look worse for Nakatsuji is that he has previous convictions for cybercrime.

Back in 2008, Nakatsuji became the first virus writer ever…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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