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.