HACKER CAGED FOR BLACK­MAIL­ING PORN FANS

Bella’s red hot look to match her book!

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By ROY DURRIDGE [email protected]­daysport.co.uk

A HACKER who black­mailed porn web­site users in what in­ves­ti­ga­tors say is the UK’s most serious cy­ber crime case has been jailed for more than six years.

Zain Qaiser tar­geted mil­lions of com­put­ers with ma­li­cious browser-lock­ing soft­ware which de­manded pay­ment of up to £750 to un­freeze the screens, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Qaiser, 24, who worked with an in­ter­na­tional Rus­sian crime group, re­ceived more than £500,000 through the global scheme, which he spent on lux­ury ho­tel stays, gam­bling and a Rolex watch.

The Na­tional Crime Agency con­sid­ers it the most serious case of cy­ber crime they have in­ves­ti­gated, the court heard.

For­mer com­puter science stu­dent Qaiser, of Bark­ing, east Lon­don, com­mit­ted most of his crimes be­tween the age of 18 and 19. In­fected

Us­ing the on­line name K!NG, he bought masses of ad­ver­tis­ing on porn sites, prosecutor Joel Smith said.

But when users clicked the cor­rupted links, their com­put­ers were ex­posed to highly so­phis­ti­cated “Angler” soft­ware.

In­fected com­put­ers showed a mes­sage im­per­son­at­ing cops in the user’s coun­try say­ing an of­fence had been com­mit­ted and de­mand­ing pay­ment of up to 1,000 dol­lars (£767), the court heard.

The crime group col­lected mil­lions of pounds in prof­its from vic­tims in more than 20 coun­tries, al­though the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple who paid the fee is unknown.

Some ad­ver­tis­ers were “happy to turn a blind eye” to Qaiser’s ac­tions – but those who tried to stop him “be­came the sub­ject of the de­fen­dant’s anger”, Mr Smith told the court.

Qaiser black­mailed them and tried to flood their servers with DDoS (dis­trib­uted de­nial of ser­vice) at­tacks, putting the sites out of ac­tion and cost­ing them dearly.

Qaiser, who ini­tially de­nied the crimes and claimed he him­self had been hacked, ad­mit­ted black­mail and fraud by false rep­re­sen­ta­tion, among other charges.

Pros­e­cu­tors sus­pect Qaiser has money stored in off­shore accounts but have been un­able to di­rectly trace them so far, Mr Smith said.

Pass­ing sen­tence and jail­ing Qaiser for six years, five months, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: “The harm caused by your of­fend­ing was ex­ten­sive.”

SCAM: Qaiser sent porn users emails that pre­tended to be from the law

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