A menacing hacker is toying with Japanese police officials through a series of riddles attached to the collar of a stray cat. After sending a series of clues to Japanese news outlets, investigators were led to the island of Enoshima where the cat was found. Inside the cat’s collar, police discovered a digital memory card containing undisclosed email riddles.
In the past year, this case has stumped Japanese officials and led to a series of embarrassments for The National Police Agency. The suspect’s first cybercrime involved hacking the Yokohama city website and posting death threats aimed at children attending a local elementary school. Additional attacks were later directed towards Japan Airlines after an email was sent to the airline claiming that a bomb was planted on a plane.
The hacker continued his high profile attacks sending threats to the school of Emperor Akihito’s grandchild and the office of the prime minister. Officials have had very little success in the case, and in turn suffered a public embarrassment after four suspects delivered “extracted confessions” only to be cleared of all chargers later on.
The stray cat stunt isn’t the first example of the hacker’s interest in toying with police officials. Last year, the hacker allegedly posted a virus on Japanese text board 2Channel and eluded police through a series of hacks.
Postings on an internet message board and the riddle attached to the cat show the clear signs of someone deeply rooted in web culture, especially as the hacker continues to torment officials.
At the moment, police have only discerned that the hacker uses programming language C# and has access to proxies, which help maintain the hacker’s anonymity on boards like 2Channel.
Surveillance cameras on Enoshima recorded several men taking photos of the cats on the island before the memory card was found, which has led officials to believe the hacker may be among them. So far no arrests have been made. The NPA is now offering up to $34,000 for any information regarding the hacker.
My tip: the cat is the hacker. I’ll take my $34,000 in all gold, thanks.