Hacker who blackmailed porn site users jailed in the 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 six years and five months.

Zain Qaiser targeted millions of computers with malicious browser-locking software which demanded payment of up to $1,000 US dollars to unfreeze the screens, Kingston Crown Court heard.

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

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

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.

“Whatever your motivation for mounting these attacks on the internet you took the opportunity to spend large sums of ill-gotten money in casinos, on an expensive watch and luxury hotel services.

“All the constituent offences were part and parcel of your role as the self-styled ‘K!NG’ of the internet.

“It has been asserted on your behalf you are remorseful. I have seen no outward expression of that.”

The former computer science student, who committed most of his crimes between the age of 18 and 19, remained expressionless as the sentence was passed.

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.

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