Hacker blackmailed porn users

Student was part of international Russian-speaking organised crime group that made millions from victims around the world

A hacker who made more than £700,000 by locking porn users’ computers and blackmailing them has been jailed.
Zain Qaiser, 24, targeted millions of computers with pop-up adverts that triggered ransomware threatening browsers with prosecution unless they paid a “fine”.
Kingston Crown Court heard that messages displayed on frozen screens impersonated law enforcement in the user’s country, and demanded payments of up to $1,000 (£767).
Qaiser was jailed for six years and five months after admitting blackmail, fraud by false representation, hacking and possessing criminal property.
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.
Prosecutors said Qaiser was part of a Russian-speaking “sophisticated organised crime group” and used a series of false identities to commit
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) intends to initiate legal proceedings to confiscate almost £116,000 of “criminal money”, which Qaiser admitted receiving while he was on bail.
Prosecutors believe Qaiser was paid a “far higher” amount than the £700,000 traced between September 2012 and his arrest in 2014, and suspect he has money hidden in offshore accounts.
Despite being a student with no apparent source of income, he visited prostitutes, gambled nearly £70,000 with his Asper’s casino account and purchased a £4,900 Rolex watch, the court heard.

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