Police have arrested two men for allegedly stealing more than 16 million yen from other people’s online bank accounts by using passwords stolen from Internet cafes in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, the police said Thursday.
Arrested were Ko Hakata, an unemployed 35-year-old former computer systems developer, on suspicion of unauthorized access and fraud using a computer, and Goro Nakahashi, a 27-year-old company employee who allegedly helped withdraw the money, on suspicion of theft.
On Sept. 18, Hakata allegedly used a computer and Internet connection at a cafe in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward to access the accounts at a foreign bank of five self-employed people.
Using stolen passwords, Hakata allegedly withdrew about 16.5 million yen from the five accounts and deposited the money in an account created under a fictitious name. Nakahashi then withdraw the money from the account.
Hakata was able to get the passwords, credit card numbers and online transaction data of other people by secretly installing KeyLogger software on the computers at several Internet cafes and other venues. KeyLogger, readily available on the Internet, surreptitiously records key strokes.
The police suspect Hakata was involved in at least 719 online thefts carried out by using personal computers at more than 10 cafes.
Hakata was a programmer at a bank-affiliated think tank a few years ago. Police said he has admitted to paying Nakahashi 1 million yen for his help and spent the remainder on such things as betting on horse races.
He reportedly told police that he recorded so much personal information that it became difficult to keep count of it all.
KeyLogger was developed for companies to check unauthorized access to internal data by employees.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.