Japanese authorities arrested a 14-year-old teen on Monday for allegedly creating and spreading ransomware.
According to reports, the third-year junior high school student is suspected of combining free encryption programs to create the malicious software.
The teenager admitted to creating the malware on Jan. 6 and uploading it to a foreign website, where it was downloaded more than 100 times.
The young boy, whose identity has not yet been revealed, also reportedly used social media to lure users into downloading the program for free.
Japanese authorities said the teen’s ransomware program allowed a downloader to infect victims’ computers and demand payment in digital currency as ransom.
“The male student apparently learned how to create [the ransomware] on his own,” a source told the Japan Times.
The boy told investigators it took him about three days to create the malware using his own computer, the source added. He also said he participated in a computer skills class in elementary school where he learned how to assemble a personal computer.
The Osaka resident said he created the ransomware “out of curiosity” and because he wanted to “become famous.”
Local authorities discovered the case through “cyber patrolling” in January and confiscated the teen’s computer during a house search in April.
Authorities said no financial losses related to the malware have been reported yet.
However, sources said users who downloaded the malware could also be charged with violating the law on “acquiring electromagnetic records by illegal command.”
The arrest is the first involving a ransomware-related crime in Japan, said police.