A memory card attached to a cat's collar could hold vital clues to the identity of computer hacker who has terrorised Japan by threatening attacks on schools and cities.
The anonymous hacker began their campaign six months ago by breaking into the Yokohama city website and posting a message detailing a plot to kill students at a local elementary school.
According to the Asahi newspaper, he then posted a note on the Osaka city website threatening mass murder before sending an email to Japan Airlines claiming a bomb had been planted aboard one of its aircraft.
Among more than a dozen threats that followed have been ones sent to the prime minister’s office and the school attended by the grandchild of Emperor Akihito.
But the investigation is now focusing on a computer memory card discovered on cat's collar on the small island of Enoshima.
The memory card was found after messages were sent to Japanese newspapers and broadcasters claiming details of a computer virus were strapped to a cat living on an island near Tokyo.
The cat was found wearing a pink collar with a memory card attached containing a series of email riddles.
Surveillance cameras on the island captured several men taking pictures of the cat, leading them to believe one of might be the person responsible, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.
Police were left red-faced last year when they claimed to have extracted confessions from four men in connection with the threats.
The suspects were held for several weeks until more messages appeared and the police were forced to admit they had made a mistake.
The hacker left anonymous posts on a popular message board, with a link containing a virus, but covered his tracks by hacking into various computers.
On New Year’s Day several Japanese newspapers and TV stations were sent emails invited them to solve riddles that would lead to 'a big scoop'.
According to the Sankei Shimbun, newspaper the email read: 'This is an invitation to a new game.'
The messages reportedly contained quizzes, the answers to which suggest a mountainside somewhere near Tokyo.
Japanese Police have now offered a reward of up to $34,000 for information leading to the hacker’s arrest.
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