Following reports earlier this month of three Monero cryptojackers charged in Japan, another sixteen suspects involved in cryptojacking have been arrested this weekend.
Cryptojacking is the practice of illegally installing a piece of mining software on a users computer or mobile phone and using it to mine for cryptocurrency. Due to the anonymous nature of it, Monero (XMR) is the most popular currency used for cryptojacking.
According to local news outlet The Asahi Shimbun, the sixteen new suspects were also using a website to secretly install the popular mining software Coinhive. It is uncertain at this time whether or not this new string of arrests is related to the previous charges.
The Coinhive software awards miners 70 percent of what they earn, with 30 percent going to Coinhive itself. In this case, the largest sum mined was only 120,000 yen ($1,084), suggesting that the criminal gang were not yet operating on a large scale.
Commenting on the case, legal professor Hisashi Sonoda implied that the arrests may be premature, considering there is no legal precedents in place yet to deal with such issues.
GuardiCore Labs estimates that 40,000 machines globally are infected with cryptocurrency mining software and a recent report by Palo Alto networks suggests that as much as 5 percent of all Monero in circulation has been mined illegally.
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