Probe Launched Into Alleged Japanese University Crypto Embezzlement

Neil Dennis

Japanese tax authorities are investigating an Osaka-based educational institution over missing funds that were allegedly used to buy cryptocurrency, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The inspection of Meijo Gakuin Educational Corporation began on Tuesday, according to The Mainichi national daily, along with probes by the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau into real estate brokerage Sun Kikaku and other companies linked to the case.

Nearly $1 Million Lost in Crypto Investment

Meijo Gakuin's former chairwoman allegedly instructed the board to bank JPY 100 million ($928,700), earmarked for its affiliate - Osaka University of Tourism, which was then withdrawn and used to buy an unnamed cryptocurrency in an ICO.

Sources told Mainichi that the cryptocurrency went public in March 2019, but the price plummeted, exposing Meijo Gakuin to severe losses on the investment. Also unaccounted for is a JPY 2.1 billion deposit for the sale of land for a high school in the city, brokered by and deposited with Sun Kikaku.

The cryptocurrency involved in the case remains almost worthless, according to the report, while the - then - chairwoman of Meijo Gakuin resigned over the case in June.


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Bitcoin Ransomware Hackers Lose Control of Their Decryption Tool

Michael LaVere
  • Software firm Emsisoft warns that attacks broke their own decryption tool for the Ryuk ransomware.
  • Affected users are at risk of having their files deleted despite paying the bitcoin ransom. 

A security firm has warned that the Ryuk bitcoin ransomware has broken its own decryption tool, causing affected users to lose their files even after sending the BTC ransom. 

Software company Emsisoft told news outlet The Next Web that the hackers behind the Ryuk ransomware are responsible for the decryption error. According to the security firm, a recent update made to Ryuk caused the program to alter the way it calculates the length files, inadvertently making the decryption tool defunct, 

As a result, the decryptor provided by the Ryuk authors will truncate files, cutting off one too many bytes in the process of decrypting the file. Depending on the exact file type, this may or may not cause major issues.

Users who pay the crypto ransom are still at risk of losing their files and data, depending on where the byte cutoff is made. 

Emsisoft recommends Ryuk victims backup encrypted data before running the decryption key,

A final word of advice: prior to running any ransomware decryptor – whether it was supplied by a bad actor or by a security company – be sure to back up the encrypted data first. Should the tool not work as expected, you’ll be able to try again.

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