Well, they caught him. Apparently. After turning an anime director's computer into a Trojan Horse for menacing messages, after threatening to blow up Nintendo, and after sending a Japanese cops on a wild
goose cat chase, the man believed to be the country's most wanted (and dangerous) troll is in police custody.
The suspect is Yusuke Katayama. He's 30 years old and really likes cats.
The capture came after one final stunt that involved a stray cat and a memory card. After that, the alleged hacker said he would not be sending any more messages.
According to AP, the Japanese authorities were able to use some good old-fashioned police work to nab this suspect: tracing the memory card and analyzing security camera footage. Security cameras near where the stray cat was found had apparently captured a suspicious-looking individual. Another security camera spotted Katayama leaving the scene on a motorcycle.
Japan's ANN News reports that the day before Katayama was arrested, he spent about an hour at a cat cafe in Tokyo's Asakusa, where he ordered a beer and played with cats. The manager of the cat cafe said that Katayama really got into playing with the cats, picking them up and spinning them around on the floor. "It seemed like he was really into cats," the cafe's manager said.
At another cat cafe in Akihabara, police have confiscated a computer which Katayama supposedly used. Staff at the cafe said Katayama came to the internet cafe seven times since last October and would use the net for about two to three hours each time, reports Yahoo Japan.
Back in 2005, Katayama, who apparently dropped out of university due to his online gaming addiction, was arrested for posting murder threats on 2ch, Japan's largest online forum. According to ANN News, Katayama threatened an employee at a major record label, demanding that the company stop using a cat as its mascot. Katayama, who was found guilty, said at the time, "I wanted to see my messages become hot topics online."
This latest string of attacks, it seems, was an effort to embarrass the police.
Now that Katayama has been fingered as the primary suspect, a photo of him embracing a cat has surfaced on MSN. "This guy really, really likes cats," wrote one 2ch user (via Itai News). "Nobody who likes cats is bad," wrote another. "He seems like a good person," added yet another. Others wryly chimed in that no way somebody this nice to cats could be evil, and that the cops got the wrong guy.
Elsewhere, other 2ch members said that Katayama looked like your "typical" otaku (geek), and created images like this:
On the left, it loosely says, "Online Katayama." On the right, there's a photo of the suspect as he was being taken into police custody. The text reads, "Real World Katayama." That real world Katayama picture isn't accurate, however. He should be holding a cat.
Katayama is telling authorities there is no truth to these charges and is denying he's guilty.
(Top photo: Hiroko Yoda | AltJapan)
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.