A 14-year-old boy was arrested in Japan for allegedly creating a malware program and uploading its source code online, police announced on Monday.
This is the first ransomware-related arrest in Japan. Police had found the malicious program during one of their regular cyber patrols, then searched his house in April and confiscated his laptop.
When arrested, the boy admitted he “learned to create it on his own” out of curiosity and promoted it on Twitter to become famous.
“I made ransomware. Please feel free to use it,” read his tweet.
The ransomware was downloaded 100 times after it was posted online. Once the device was infected, the author demanded payment in digital currency. Details regarding financial loss have not been released.
The program was created in three days, using a free encryption software. Sources say it is similar to WannaCry, ransomware that last month infected almost 600 companies in Japan and more than 300,000 computers globally in less than 72 hours.
Because he is a minor, his identity has not been revealed.