Police from up to ten prefectures of Japan recently arrested website operators using Coinhive to tap into the computer power of their site visitors to mine cryptocurrencies without their approval of it. They are accused of violating the law banning the use of computer viruses. There have been reports that some have already been dismissed. The police have been keeping a close eye on the Coinhive program since its released.
The Japanese police caught up to 16 people using mining programs to mine cryptocurrencies using other people’s personal computers, as stated by local media.
The Japan Times reported the National Police Agency noting “sixteen people in Japan have been found to have embedded computer programs on their own websites to use personal computers of viewers for cryptocurrency mining without their consent… These people have been accused of violating the law banning the use of computer viruses. ”
Another media publication reported that “Three men were arrested on suspicion of illegal use of what was defined as computer viruses, while 13 other men had their papers sent to prosecutors for the same suspicion. Three of those arrested were already involved in an investigation with the police. The 16 accused are between the ages of 18 and 48. Up to seven of them are in their 20s, four in their 30s, another four in their 40s and finally just one teenager. All the accused run their own websites which allegedly had programs installed to use visitors’ computers to mine crypto.”
The Japan Times unveiled that “The most money earned among the 16 suspects was the equivalent of about 120,000 yen ($1,100), some of them have already been fined 100,000 yen ($904).” In addition to that, the media outlet detailed that it is the first time in Japan that a person has been accused by police of using another person’s personal computer through a cryptocurrency mining program without approval.
According to the publication, Japanese police have been monitoring the Coinhive program since it was released in September last year to determine where it has been installed. Citing that the programs were embedded in adult, music, and game websites to mine four cryptocurrencies, including monero and Jsecoin. The news outlet noted that “Of the 16 people, 14 used Coinhive, a program that provides 30 percent of mined cryptocurrencies to the developer and the remaining 70 percent to owners of websites in which the program is embedded.”