On June, Japanese police officers announced they were running investigations related to a cryptojacking case involving Monero (XMR) mining software Coinhive, prohibited by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan, due to its anonymity policy.This week, 3 individuals were singled out to be responsible of installing the aforementioned malicious software on third-party computers; among them, a web designer identified as Masato Yasuda, who had previously been fined by the Yokohama court, having to pay around US $ 900 for incurring the same felony.
Yasuda – age 24, a resident of the city of Amagasaki – was sentenced to 12 months in prison by the Sendaia District Court, a sentence that was suspended for 3 years due to the cooperation of Yasuda, who apart from apologizing, he assured that he will not abuse his programming skills again. It is worth noting that the young man, in addition to having expertise in computer science and web design, is studying Information Ethics.
On the other hand, one of three men involved explained that the method they used was not through a computer virus, but rather website monetization, similarly to ad distribution. However, anyone who visited the sites that were managed by the suspects got the Coinhive software installed without their consent, which once running on the computer, it began to generate incomes to the operators.
Coinhive was created in 2017 and since then, it has become one of the most used tools for mining Monero tokens, through the consumption of resources available in third-party computers.
The cryptocurrency fever has dragged the attention of many people, among them, thieves and other types of delinquents who have been protagonists of criminal acts in several opportunities. For example, in late-2017, two youngsters – 18 and 19 – were arrested in Tokyo for allegedly punched an employee of a crypto-exchange in his face, in order to steal his smartphone and transfer the equivalent of – at the moment – US $ 900,000 in Bitcoins, to their wallets.
In a case of minor offense, it was known that 200 mining equipment were seized in China, after the authorities in charge of the local electricity network reported an unusual increase in energy consumption in the zone, caused by the owner said electronic devices, and who had not paid the surplus of the average consumption of the last month.