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Sixteen suspects arrested in Monero cryptojacking cybercrime

Japanese police have arrested three individuals with thirteen pending suspects for crimes related to the Monero cryptojacking incident which found that 5% of all Monero tokens have been illicitly mined.

Following the news last week, where Monero suffered a $175 million USD loss in malicious mining attack, a local Japanese news agency has announced that police have apprehended sixteen individuals involved in the cybercrime.

The Asahi Shimbun said that three of the suspects, who made use of cryptojacking – mining which is done by using other user’s computing powers without their permission – have already been arrested and the remaining thirteen have had their papers sent to prosecutors under the suspicion that they are involved in the same crime.

All of the suspects are aged between 18 and 48 years old and were found to have committed the malicious mining by creating and operating their own websites which were used to send programs to vulnerable individuals who visited their site to mine cryptocurrencies. They then used the individual’s computer to mine the tokens illegally.

The report further says that fifteen of the sixteen suspect arrested used Coinhive. The other one individual allegedly developed his own program and his arrest is on suspicion of creating a malicious computer virus to attack other individual’s computers.

Coinhive is a site which offers one the opportunity to install a JavaScript miner for the Monero Blockchain which can be embedded into one’s website. It is a free installation but works in a way in which 70% of the Monero tokens which are mined go to the individuals while 30% goes to Coinhive’s developers. The website has received a massive amount of criticism because it is possible to install the program without the knowledge of the computer user and police have been monitoring it since its release in 2017.

Hisashi Sonoda, a professor at Konan Law School, who knows a great deal about cybercrimes has also confirmed the theory that the arrests were probably made because the suspects had not asked for user consent.