Friday, 18 January 2013

The “Old West” Mentality?

Japan Lost Patience, Put Bounty on Hackers

The country’s government has recently started putting bounties on the heads of hackers which they most want to talk to. The local National Police Agency has been advertising for any information on a hacker who is able to code in C# and uses a “Syberian Post Office” in order to leave anonymous posts on the Internet, along with having the knowledge about how to surf the Internet without leaving any digital tracks.

The media reports claim that the police are ready to write a cheque for up to $36,000 for any information which will help them arrest the hacker. As you can understand, it’s good money even for Japan. This means that the authorities have lost patience with hacking. For instance, earlier in 2012, 4 people were wrongly arrested after their computers were hacked and used to publish messages on public bulletin boards. Those messages included warnings of plans for mass killings at a Japanese school.

According to the interview with police spokesperson, until now such type of reward was reserved for serious cases like murder and arson, but now it seems that hacking is as dangerous as the above mentioned crimes.

You can find a reward poster on the Internet, which features detailed technical descriptions of the wanted intruder’s skills. For example, the victim had to be able to know C# well enough to be able to write a virus called “iesys.exe” and use an anonymous posting method known as a “Syberian Post Office” in order to leave messages to the popular local bulletin board 2channel.

The police representatives think that the hacker used a cross-site request forgery to create online postings through innocent users. While Japan’s National Police Agency might remind someone of the FBI, its role is more focused on cooperating with and organizing local police forces, rather than tending to arrest people.

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