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Japanese Hacker Jailed for Sending Prank Death Threats

Securityweek.com reported on 4th February, 2015 that a 32 year old Japanese hacker, Yusuke Katayama, was jailed recently for his high-stakes games with the police because he hijacked computers to send death threats leading to the arrest of several innocent people.

Katayama alias Demon killer employed a virus to get control of computers of strangers during 2012 and sent threats that seemed to have originated from the owner of the computer which led to many mysteries. He threatened to hit an airplane and a massacre at a comic event and also threatened to attack a school attended by grandchildren of Japan's Emperor Akihito.

Computers of each victim had been maligned with a computer virus installed through a link on the renowned Japanese chatting forum 2channel.

The case exposed the incompetence of Japan's police force in dealing with cyber crime and it highlighted their tendency to make arrested people forcibly confess the crime.

Police detained one of the suspects for a number of weeks till the media and a cybercrime pundit received mysterious messages containing particulars that investigators conceded to find the real culprit.

The messages said that details of the computer virus had been strapped to a cat on an island near Tokyo.

The police found the cat and arrested Katayama in February 2013. Chief of National Police Agency (NPA) offered red-faced apology accepting that his force has been tricked by the hacker and promised to brush up the skills of his cyber-crime unit.

The prosecutors sought a 10-year sentence during the trial but the defense managed to get it reduced to eight years. Katayama pleaded not guilty at the time of his arrest and maintained his stand till May 2014 when he confessed the offences.

During the investigation, at one point the suspect was released but was detained again after surveillance cameras caught him burying a smartphone with incriminating evidence for a false alibi.

Ajw.asahi.com published news on 4th February, 2015 quoting President Judge Katsunori Ono as saying during handing down the sentence "Katayama's crimes are malicious cases in the history of cybercrimes as he tried to use innocent third parties as scapegoats".

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