An employee of Japanese news organization Nikkei Inc. was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of illegally accessing the email accounts of a popular Japanese model, a former idol group member and two others.
Jun Terai, a 29-year-old staffer in the newspaper’s digital division, is suspected of illegal production of private electromagnetic records and violating the unauthorized access law, police said.
Between December 2014 and April 2016, police say he logged into the Gmail and iCloud accounts of Moe Oshikiri, a popular fashion magazine model also known as a television personality and novelist.
They believe Terai also accessed without permission the accounts of Miyuki Watanabe, a former member of all-girl idol group NMB48, and two other women over the same period.
According to the police, Terai told them, “I was excited by breaking passwords and felt as if I were playing games.”
He reportedly obtained passwords by randomly combining their birthdays and nicknames.
Police found phone numbers and email addresses of more than 100 actresses, models and television presenters in the data saved on his smartphone.
Terai obtained Oshikiri’s email address by accessing her personal data owned by a mobile phone service company that she contracted with, according to police.
Oshikiri received a message of a change in her password from the mobile carrier after Terai changed it. She then reported it to the police in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward in December 2014.
Nikkei issued an apology over the issue and said it will take strict action once the facts are confirmed.
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