Poker player accused of running Android malware fuelled fake dating agency


A successful tournament poker player from Japan, with earnings estimated at $1.5 million from his prowess at bluffing and holding his nerve under pressure, has been arrested and charged with being behind an Android malware distribution operation that netted even more: $3.9 million according to Symantec.

The Chiba Prefectural Police in Japan arrested a total of nine people in connection with distributing spam emails with download links to the Android.Enesoluty malware. Symantec reports that one of these was 50 year old Masaaki Kagawa, president of an IT firm from Shibuya, Tokyo. "His passion for taking chances and risks has paid off in the game of Poker" says Symantec employee Joji Hamada, who continues "but it’s not looking good for his gambling with Android malware."

It would appear that the Android malware operation was running between September 2012 and April 2013, with some 150 domains registered to the malicious apps which managed to collect more than 37 million email addresses from over 800,000 Android devices. This address list was then used to spam people in order to lure them to a fake online dating service, which in turn was where the profits of 390 million Yen are thought to have been made.

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

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