Alleged Malware Source Sends Suicide Note with Madoka Photo
posted on by Egan Loo
On Tuesday evening, a Tokyo lawyer and the television station TBS received a new email message from a person who claimed to be the "real criminal" behind the malware that allows an attacker to remotely control a victim's computer. The message to Yōji Ochiai, TBS, and three to four other receipients read, "I will now kill myself by hanging" and "Sayonara."
The message added, "I made a mistake. I lost the game," and included a photograph of a Puella Magi Madoka Magica Nendoroid figure of Madoka Kaname, surrounded by an apparent noose fashioned from an Ethernet cable. The figure was on top of a Tuesday edition of the Kanagawa Shimbun paper.
The new message had the same sender's address as 13 earlier messages from the self-described "true criminal" behind the malware. Using the location information from the included photograph, the authorities say that they narrowed down the suspect's location to the vicinity of an apartment complex in the Hodogaya ward of Kanagawa's Yokohama City.
Police had arrested anime technical director Masaki Kitamura (Gundam 00) in August for sending massacre threats, but released him one month later after they determined that the malware likely enabled someone else to send the threats from Kitamura's computer. Three other individuals held on similar charges were also released, and the government publicly apologized for arresting them.
The Hodogaya apartment complex that the police identified is about 500 meters (about 1,600 yards) to the east of an elementary school that was the alleged target of one of those threat messages. A 19-year-old male college student was arrested after the police believed that the threat was sent from his computer, but he was later released along with the others.
The Japanese joint investigation on the malware dispatched five investigators to the United States on Monday to seek the FBI's assistance in identifying the email sender.