Yahoo! Japan Phisher Gets Suspended Sentence

    September 15, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

If Kazuma Yabano stays out of trouble for four years, his 22-month prison sentence will simply go away.

First Sasser Sven gets a wrist-tap from a German court, and now this. As security firm Sophos reports, Mr. Yabano’s conviction related to the creation of a fake Yahoo! Japan site and theft of personal login data has added up to a suspended sentence from a Japanese judge.

Sophos’ Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant, summarizes the end of the case succinctly:

“Some will raise eyebrows at the leniency of the sentence as the middle-aged culprit has effectively got away with it. One wonders if he had broken into hundreds of houses, and not stolen any belongings, whether he would have escaped with a slap on the wrist.”

Indeed. While this case, the first involving a conviction on phishing in Japan, will draw some contempt from the tech industry, it isn’t nearly as egregious as a German court’s ruling that since Sasser creator Sven Jaschan was only 17 when he created the destructive worm, he couldn’t be tried as an adult. This decision came down despite his releasing the worm to the wild on his 18th birthday.

Phishing especially poses a problem in the workplace. A Trend Micro survey of users found one in three US end-users had no problem clicking suspicious links or visiting questionable sites from their workplace computer, because that computer belongs to the company and not the person using it.

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