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LOLCats and PC viruses - Japan gets a lesson in cybersecurity

Jay Alabaster | Feb. 25, 2013
The national police reboot their anti-hacker tactics after months of public ridicule from what appears to be a rogue hacker

The complexity of the program, and the meticulous way it was developed, appear to contrast with Katayama's actions in the months when he was allegedly toying with Japan's national police. Authorities have said he occasionally failed to anonymize his Internet activities, and traced him to the online purchase of a small figurine that later appeared in a photo he sent to newspapers.

The FBI cooperated with Japanese police and provided the contents of a Dropbox account used by the suspect, the contents of which included a copy of the "iesys.exe" virus, according to the Nikkei business newspaper.

If Katayama does turn out to be the mastermind behind the program and the one that made threats online, it appears police caught a break in their first public duel with a hacker of his stature. One of their main leads was decidedly low tech -- video footage of him caught by a security camera on Enoshima, the small island where he allegedly planted the memory card on a local cat.  

"It appears that he wanted to show off and went too far. If this is true then the police were fortunate he did so, because they probably wouldn't have found him otherwise," said Ochiai.


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