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UK hacker jailed for six years for blackmailing pornography site users

Published: April 9, 2019
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Source: theguardian.com

A hacker who blackmailed users of pornography websites in what investigators say is the UK’s most serious cybercrime case has been jailed for six years and five months.

Zain Qaiser targeted millions of computers with malicious browser-locking software that demanded payment of up to $1,000 (£765) to unfreeze screens, Kingston crown court heard.

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

The National Crime Agency (NCA) considers it the most serious case of cybercrime it has investigated, the court heard.

Passing sentence on Tuesday, the 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.

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