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Japanese P2P virus catches you downloading porn, demands money to clear your name

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There’s a pretty hilarious computer virus causing a bit of havoc in Japan right now. It affects users of the P2P program Winny (sorta like a Japanese version of Freenet, so says mighty Wikipedia), users who were looking for a strain of pornography known as hentai. I wouldn’t recommend googling that word while at work, or while in the presence of other human beings unless you’re prepared for a laugh followed by, “Um, what?”

So the virus works by tricking people into downloading a file that purports to be the porn in question, but then publishes your browser history while demanding money (around $10) to unpublish said information.

Around 5,500 people have been infected so far. Winny has some 200 million users, which is absolutely shocking to me: how did such a popular program fly under the radar? Well, “under the radar” in that I’ve never heard of it before. Makes you wonder what other local P2P applications are out there that get zero publicity here in the U.S.

Trend Micro in Japan is monitoring the situation, so no need to go into freak-out mode.

It just goes to show you how you really aren’t going to get a computer virus unless you’re in the dark alleys of the Internet. I’ve been on a Windows 7 PC since December, and I’ve had zero viruses, trojans, or whatever.

Knock on wood, of course.

(Now watch my PC physically explodes overnight.)

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