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Porn users blackmailed by hacker in global ‘scam’

Gambler: Casino footage shows Qaiser out on a spending spree PICTURES: NCA

A HACKER who blackmailed porn site users in a multi-million pound cyber crime has been jailed for six years and five months.

Zain Qaiser, 24, targeted millions of computers with malicious browser-locking software which demanded payment of up to £767 to unfreeze the screens, Kingston crown court heard.

The National Crime Agency described it as the most serious case of cyber crime it has investigated.

The former computer science student, who used the online name K!NG, worked with a Russian gang and received more than £500,000, which he spent on luxury hotels, gambling and a Rolex watch.

Hacker: Qaiser admitted 11 charges

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: ‘Whatever your motivation for mounting these attacks on the internet you took the opportunity to spend large sums of ill-gotten money.

‘All the constituent offences were part and parcel of your role as the self-styled ‘K!NG’ of the internet. It has been asserted you are remorseful. I have seen no outward expression of that.’

Qaiser, of Barking, east London, committed most of his crimes between the ages of 18 and 19. Prosecutor Joel Smith said he bought advertising on porn sites using fake identities. When users clicked the corrupted links, their computers were exposed to sophisticated software. Messages then showed bogus law enforcement demands for payment.

The NCA said the group operated in more than 20 countries and some advertisers turned ‘a blind eye’. When others objected, Qaiser attacked their servers or threatened to spam their sites with child pornography, the court heard.

Qaiser, who initially denied the crimes and claimed he had been hacked himself, admitted 11 charges including blackmail, fraud by false representation, doing an unauthorised act with intent to impair the operation of a computer and possessing criminal property. Prosecutors suspect he still has money offshore.