• Kyodo


In the wake of wrongful arrests over threats of violence posted or emailed from remotely controlled virus-infected PCs, the National Police Agency set up a new centralized team Thursday to gather and analyze relevant information for quick response by police forces nationwide.

The chief of the cyberterrorism measures technology office heads up the unauthorized program analysis center within the agency’s High-Tech Crime Technology Division, according to the agency. Around 10 analysts will be chosen from among police forces nationwide by mid-November.

Computer viruses had previously been separately analyzed by regional police forces and the agency.

Each police force will now be obliged to report cases to the center, which will analyze the programs with a higher degree of sophistication.

By centralizing information, “police forces should be able to efficiently address crimes originating from the same virus but taking place beyond prefectural borders,” an agency official said.

Last year the high-tech crime divisions of police forces nationwide analyzed around 150 cases at the request of investigators. The number this year through September was above 160.

Four men living in four different prefectures were believed wrongly arrested for posting or emailing threats, between late June and early September, to attack schools and a talent agency, and destroy Ise Shrine.

Law-enforcement authorities later apologized to the men after discovering their PCs were infected.

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