Hacker who blackmailed porn users jailed

Hacker

Computer hacker Zain Qaiser

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A hacker who blackmailed users of a porn website has been jailed for six years and five months.

Zain Qaiser, 24, targeted millions of computers with browser-locking software and demanded a payment of around £767 to unfreeze the screens.

The hacker, who was a former computer science student, made £500,000 through the multimillion-pound global scheme, which he spent on stays in luxury hotels, gambling and a Rolex watch.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it considers this the most serious case of cyber crime they have investigated, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Qaiser, of Barking, east London, using the online name K!NG, bought masses of advertising on porn sites using fake identities, prosecutor Joel Smith said.

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

Passing sentence on Tuesday, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "The harm caused by your offending was extensive - so extensive that there does not appear to be a reported case involving anything comparable."

Qaiser, who initially denied the crimes and claimed he had been hacked himself, has entered guilty pleas to an 11-count indictment.

He has admitted three counts of blackmail; three counts of fraud by false representation; four counts of doing an unauthorised act with intent to impair the operation of a computer; and one count of possessing criminal property.

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