Japanese Court Lets Coinhive Cryptojacker Go Free Citing The Mining Script Not Being A PC Virus

Japanese Court Lets Coinhive Cryptojacker Be Free

A really shocking decision was made by a court in Japan, according to the local publication The Mainichi. According to the reports, the country left a cryptojacker who was using the Coinhive software to mine Monero off people’s computers to walk away free. That’s right, the court simply decided to let him get away with that.

The 31-year-old web designer had been indicted after it was discovered that he was mining Monero using an illicit malware. Basically, he used Coinhive on his own site and mined coins off his visitors. His case was judged and a district court in Yokohama, but the jury decided that Coinhive could not be considered malware (they’re wrong) and that he should not be arrested.

His actions were deemed as “not socially intolerable” by the Judge Toshihiro Homma. However, as the users were impacted “in a minor degree”, the man was fined in what would be around $900 USD.

Part of the reason why the punish was so meek was because no hardware was damaged and no personal information was leaked in almost a year of the software being used. In fact, the whole thing had a pretty low effect overall.

Coinhive Shutting Down By April 30

The only good news in this story is that the man will never be able to use Coinhive soon since the company has shut down its operations in February. Now, users will have until the end of April to take their money and go look for another mining software.

Why has this happened? Because the owners of the software got mad that so many people were using it for cryptojacking. While the initial mission of the technology was to be useful for people who wanted alternative revenues, it was mainly used by hackers to steal money from people. In fact, it had become of the most popular programs and it was used to infect over 415,000 routers all over the world.

Cryptojacking Simply Keeps Growing

Unfortunately, Coinhive shutting down will not finish cryptojacking for once and for all. In fact, this threat is more likely to simply keep growing. The cases rose 450% last year and it is not too much of a bet to say to that they will likely rise again this year.

It is somewhat simple and easy to set up malware to cryptojack computers, so hackers are abandoning old scams like ransomware and moving to more profitable ones. IBM X-Force has studied these occurrences and affirmed that since the new type of attack started to go up, ransomware attacks started to go down.

If you take information from McAfee, another cybersecurity firm, you will actually see that their numbers show that attacks have gone up 4,000% last year, a much less conservative estimate than IBM X-Force’s. However, it is hard to know which estimative is closer to reality.

While some cryptojacking malware is spread just like any old virus was (via emails, shady files, and links, etc), some attackers are getting actually pretty bold and they have been posting fake software on verified app stores which is actually used to mine tokens without the user knowing. Unfortunately, the app store providers are struggling to stop this from happening.

Always remember to always be careful because the law enforcement of Japan will certainly not help you.


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