Police say they have arrested the evil hacker who tricked them into forcing 4 innocents to confess to planning massacres, after he was caught on camera delivering a taunting digital message to police by cat – and Japan’s media has wasted no time in painting him as the archetypal creepy otaku.
The 30-year-old IT worker was arrested in central Tokyo on charges of interfering with official business, made in relation to threats of indiscriminate knife murder made against Comiket 82 through the PC of one of his virus-infected victims.
The arrest looked to be suspiciously well attended by news cameras, with media reports gleefully dwelling on his plump, bespectacled appearance, otaku habits and love of cats.
Police are sure he is the hacker who used a virus to post online death threats by remote controlling the PCs of four innocents, who police then arrested and coerced into confessing, thinking an IP address to be incontrovertible evidence of guilt.
Their innocence was only revealed when the hacker tauntingly contacted police and media with details of what he had done, humiliating police and courts utterly and causing yet another revelation into how Japanese police apparently secure many of their convictions.
One of the victims came forward as an anime director, and a student who lost his university place as a result of his forced confession and subsequent conviction elicited particular sympathy online. All their convictions were rapidly overturned.
He next famously had police searching the cat population of Kanagawa prefecture’s Enoshima Island, after he attached an SD card containing the “iesys.exe” virus he used to the collar of one of the cats living there.
Unsurprisingly considering their record on the case, police ended up using a low-tech method to get him – they trawled security camera footage from the area the messenger cat was found, and eventually managed to identify a “suspicious” man and motorcycle from them, and followed up their investigations from there.
More detailed hacking-related charges seem likely once police force him to confess.
For now, he categorically denies the accusations, saying “there is no truth to them whatsoever” – which may yet further humiliate police should they find nothing on the 3 PCs seized from his residence, as so far it would seem police only have circumstantial evidence that he may have attached an SD card to a cat.
Police do say he has a 2005 conviction for making similar online threats, and served jail time for the offence.
His motive was apparently a grudge against police, and a desire to avenge himself by humiliating them – the feline communique included a vengeful letter in which he complained of “having my life turned upside by police dragging me into an investigation despite my innocence.”
Curiously the online hoi polloi are still not entirely convinced police have their man:
“Another mistaken arrest!”
“Ah, he certainly looks like the classic otaku – fat, glasses, awful clothes.”
“He looks the archetypal creepy otaku.”
“Just like you guys in fact.”
“He is us and we are him.”
“No way do they have enough evidence.”
“Nasty looking scapegoat they’ve trotted out there!”
“I feel they got the right man this time. He went a bit too far with the cat stunt.”
“All sorts of people go to Enoshima to pet the cats there around that time. More so cat lovers.”
“Enoshima is like a big outdoor neko cafe. Just because he went there and a camera spotted him petting a cat doesn’t really add up to good evidence.”
“Enoshima is cat heaven. Suddenly I want to go there.”
“If it is another guy whose PC was infected I shall laugh.”
“Looks like the right guy. Maybe they’ll lighten his sentence if he explains how he pulled it off?”
“1982 was a good year for creepy criminals – the Kobe child killer, the Tochigi teacher killer, the Akihabara stabber, and now this.”
“I was hoping for a cool guy like in a Hollywood movie for once.”
“Our cops are seriously useless. If he didn’t lead them to him by the cat stunt they never would have got him.”
“If he’d just stuck to PCs he’s still be out there. It’s not like they’d be able to manage to crack Tor or something.”
“Why do so many otaku love cats anyway?”
“Cat lovers are only a step away from creepy otaku.”
“What I can’t stand about this case is that he involved an innocent cat in all this!”
“When did just otaku start loving cats? Doesn’t everyone love cats?”
“The media reports dwelling on his otaku looks are sheer prejudice and discrimination, aren’t they? They’d never say anything about him if he were Korean or something.”
“Honestly it sounds like he is being presumed guilty just because of his looks.”
“Is it a coincidence that just yesterday one of their ‘cybercrimes’ investigators was arrested for stealing a bicycle?”
“He sure humiliated the cops. I hope his lawyer is vigilant so they don’t make sure he ‘commits suicide’ whilst in custody.”
“If he really is the culprit, there’s probably nothing on his drives and he’ll get off if he keeps protesting his innocence. Though I expect the police will resort to ‘all means’ to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
“I can’t help but think they just looked at the camera footage and picked up someone who visited Enoshima to see the cats and had a prior conviction…”