Mugshots. Artist's sketches. Physical descriptions. Those are what you see on typical wanted posters in Japan. But this is not your typical wanted poster. It's not even your typical crime.
Instead, this wanted poster features descriptions of programming languages, viruses, and internet use. But like most wanted posters, this one also has a hefty reward.
The alleged hacker has duped Japanese police since last summer with crimes that include using an animator's computer to send killing spree threats and another man's computer to forward a bomb threat to Nintendo's headquarters. This was followed by anime character and kitty-cat-related taunts and puzzles. The hacker has since said there will be no more attacks.
Japanese police have proven woefully ill-equipped to deal with this hacker—which is why several individuals were wrongly accused of making threats and placed in police custody even though the hacker had allegedly operated their computers remotely.
Last December, the country's National Police Agency issued a wanted poster for the hacker—a first for Japan. IDG reports that unlike other wanted posters, this one has details about the hacker's ability to use programming languages like C#, the "iesys.exe" virus, as well as the ability to use a technique called "Siberian Post Office" to make anonymous posts on Japanese bulletin boards.
There is also a reward of ¥3 million (US$32,000) for information that leads to the hacker's capture.
"Up until now this type of reward was reserved for cases involving crimes like murder and arson, but the policy has recently been changed to include more types of crimes," said a National Police Agency spokesperson in December.
This month, the agency announced that it would be joining forces with hacking communities to beef up its online task forces. According to PC Advisor, the police also said it will bring on more tech-savvy staffers and is considering sending more officers to universities to study information security, and to hopefully prevent embarrassing incidents in the future.
Welcome to the Information Age, Japanese cops.
Japan police to ally with hackers in tactical shift [PC Advisor]