In what must be one of Japan's most unusual investigations ever, the alleged culprit behind a series of online threats continues to slip past Japanese police. This time, there's a cat involved. Yes, a cat.
Last year, a Japanese animator was taken into police custody after remote-controlled threats of a killing spree were sent from his computer. Other remote-controlled threats followed, including one to blow up Nintendo's Kyoto headquarters. In total, four individuals were arrested, all seeming to be victims of this remote-controlled virus.
During the fall, the alleged hacker apparently sent a photo of anime character Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica and threatened suicide.
This week, after solving a series of email riddles, the Tokyo police were led to a cat living on an island near Tokyo, Japan Today reports. The cat's pink collar contained a microSD card.
Japanese media, for example FNN, are now reporting that a security camera filmed a man who wears glasses and who is in his 20s or 30s taking photographs of the cat in question. The security camera footage, however, doesn't show the man putting a collar on the cat.
On the collar, however, there was the source code for the remote controlled virus. Jiji Press adds (via ChannelNewsAsia) that there was also a message apparently from the alleged hacker in which the culprit wrote that "a past experience in a criminal case" supposedly set off this string of attacks.
Even though the hacker claimed innocence, NHK reports, the ordeal was life changing.
Last November, along with the anime character photo, the alleged hacker sent an email saying, "I made a mistake. It seems to be me who lost in this game." On the SD Card, the alleged hacker apparently wrote, "That email in which I said I made a mistake was a lie."
Continuing, the alleged hacker added, "Because I've cancelled my email address, there won't be any more messages after this."
記憶媒体に"人生軌道修正させられた" [NHK] PC遠隔操作事件 猫に首輪をつけた人物の特定進める [FNN] Clue to anonymous hacker found in memory card attached to cat's collar [Japan Today] Police grudge behind Japan hacker campaign: reports [ChannelNewsAsia]