Prosecutors from ten different prefectures in Japan have apprehended 16 people suspected of involvement in a criminal case involving cryptojacking. This case is ongoing, according to a June 15 report published by The Asahi Shimbun, a local Japanese news outlet. And according to this report by The Asahi Shimbun, the apprehended people are suspected of mining cryptocurrency called Monero (XMR) using an unauthorized method by allegedly installing malware on computers that were owned by their victims.
The 16 male suspects between the ages of 18 and 48, were allegedly running websites that they owned as a means to spread this malware and mine Monero cryptocurrency. The Coinhive program had reportedly been used as part of malware-based mining program. The alleged suspects were charged with stealing through this crypto jacking method, 120,000 yen or 1,084 dollars. This report by The Asahi Shimbun noted that only 70 percent of Monero was mined. The remaining percentage went to Coinhive. And according to Palo Alto Networks, which is a network and enterprise security firm, they published a report noting that of all the Monero cryptocurrency in circulation, about 5 percent have been mined using this cryptojacking technique. Coinhive, which was hatched in 2017, has become a preeminent tool to mine cryptocurrency like Monero online. Websites utilize the processing power of visitors who use the Coinhive program. This malware has been targeting computers via government, university, and other websites like YouTube. As for legal precedents and law regarding these new type of crimes involving cryptocurrency, Konan Law School professor, Hisashi Sonoda noted that imprudent measures regarding the quick arrest of these 16 individuals might have occurred because there are no legal precedents on how similar cases should be handled. Hisashi Sonoda has an academic concentration on issues of cybercrime. Cointelegraph published a report early this week about another cryptojacking case being investigated by the Japanese police using the Coinhive program. Three people who are alleged to have also spread malware. The report mentions one individual having been ordered to pay fines to the Yokohama Summary Court of 100,000 yen or 904 dollars.