Japanese Coinhive 'Distributers' May Face Prosecution

The polices believe that the suspects in the case violated the law, which prohibits the use of computer viruses
13 June 2018   194

The Japanese police are investigating the case about the distribution of Coinhive - a program for the hidden mining of the Monero cryptocurrency. This is reported by Mainichi.

The police believes that the suspects in the case violated the law, which prohibits the use of computer viruses. According to the sources, the alleged criminals created websites that installed the Coinhive mining program on victims' computers without their consent and "without making clear notifications about the mining."

To date, the police are investigating three persons, including a web designer. One of them was already sentenced by the disciplinary court of Yokohama to a fine of 100,000 yen (about $ 904) for the illegal computer virus distribution. According to Mainichi, the defendant stated that this program was not a virus, but a method of monetizing traffic, such as online advertising. The case will be referred to the Yokohama District Court.

Police representatives say that defendants can wait for criminal prosecution, because the installation and operation of Coinhive were carried out without the consent of users. It is reported that this is the first criminal case in Japan, related to the hidden cryptocurrency mining.

The Coinhive program was created in 2017 and has become one of the most common online tools for hidden mining of Monero. There are cases when it was used through YouTube, as well as through government and university sites.

Report: 16 Persons arrested for Monero Jacking in Japan

Coinhive has been installed by Japanese hackers on the websites with weak security to mine Monero - a privacy coin, what makes it harder to catch criminals
17 June 2018   130

A number of profile websites have been suffered from cryptojacking. This year eralier, Tesla’s website was applied by hackers in order to mine Monero with Coinhive. A bug in Drupal lead to 300 sites became infected with Coinhive, including the websites of San Diego Zoo and the government of Chihuahua. As declared in the official report of UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), the issue is not going away in the near future:

Popular websites are likely to continue to be targets for compromise, serving cryptomining malware to visitors, and software is available that, when run in a webpage, uses the visiting computer’s spare computer processing power to mine the digital currency Monero.
National Crime Agency, the UK

The Japanese authorities have made significant progress in case of cryptojacking. Last week, it was displayed that the Japanese police was examining 3 suspects using Coinhive to run mining scripts in many sites surreptitiously. The recent report from local publication The Asahi Shimbun claimed that the police have now captured 16 persons from 10 prefectures for cryptojacking, aged between 18 and 48. The suspects had conducted their own websites, that they allegedly applied to transfer programs to the visitors of their site for mining digital money without the consent of the users.

All suspects, except one, had used Coinhive. The one person had created his own program, very similar to Coinhive and he has been detained on suspicion of making a computer virus. Although Coinhive is free to install, it processes on a 70/30 model. Only 70% of the Monero mined goes to the website operator, and the remaining 30% goes to Coinhive developers.

The individuals that had only set Coinhive on the websites they owned and not on the hacked sites, were arrested nevertheless as they did not get any permission from their visitors to mine cryptocurrencies.