Japan Arrests Yahoo Phisher

    June 13, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Tokyo authorities took a 42 year old office worker into custody on suspicion of copyright and unauthorized computer access charges.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police took Kazuma Tabano into custody today, and accused him of setting up a phishing site designed to fool users of Yahoo! Japan.

Japan Arrests Yahoo Phisher

According to AP, this is Japan’s first arrest in a phishing case. The country does not currently have data on the spread or impact of identity theft crimes.

Mr. Tabano created a clone of Yahoo! Japan called Yafoo! Japan. The fake site closely resembled the real search engine and portal site in appearance and pronunciation. Police think Mr. Tabano intended to steal credit card and other personal information from visitors.

The site has been active since February, and managed by Mr. Tabano from his home and workplace. Police say 20 to 30 visitors per week visited the fake site.

Once legitimate Yahoo! Japan owner Softbank Corp learned of the site’s existence, it notified authorities, according to media reports.

A report last year by Gartner Inc., an information technology market research firm, estimated phishing victims cost U.S. banks and credit-card issuers about $1.2 billion in 2003. And in the US, as many as 54 million people may have been victims of identity related crimes.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.