Japanese Prosecutors Arrest 16 Individuals in Monero Cryptojacking Case

Japanese Prosecutors Arrest 16 Individuals in Monero Cryptojacking Case

Japanese prosecutors have arrested 16 individuals in an ongoing criminal case of Monero crypto jacking, The Asahi Shimbun reports on Friday.

Cryptojacking can be described as a practice of using the processing power of unsuspecting users in an attempt to mine cryptocurrency for attackers.

According to the report published by The Asahi Shimbun, the individuals are suspected of installing malware on computers of unsuspecting users to mine cryptocurrency in an unauthorized and illegal manner. They were allegedly using their own websites to spread this malware, including the Coinhive, used to mine Monero (XMR).

The report claims that the case against the individuals was first announced on Thursday, with some early arrests taking place in March.

The individuals only received 70 percent of the total cryptocurrency mined, with the rest 30 percent going to Coinhive program, the report emphasizes. So far, the largest sum of money acquired by these 16 individuals is approx. $1,084 (120,000 Yen).

A professor at Konan University who specializes in cybercrimes, Hisashi Sonoda, says that immediate arrests in this case might have been an extreme measure considering there are no precedents on handling similar cryptojacking cases.

Coinhive, launched last year, is now one of the most popular tools used to mine Monero (XMR) on sites that use visitors’ processing power for mining Monero. It has been used multiple times to target computers via many famous sites including YouTube, as well as some university and government sites.

Earlier this week, Japanese police started an investigation into another such case with the use of Coinhive program. The police have investigated three Japanese individuals allegedly responsible for running sites used for spreading Coinhive malware. One of the three suspects has been asked by the Yokohama Court to pay fines amounting to $904.

According to a recent report published by Palo Alto Networks, approx. 5 percent of total Monero (XMR) coins in circulation have been mined using the same method.

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