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Hacker in UK's 'most serious' cybercrime case jailed

Publish date: 10 April 2019
Issue Number: 1776
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
Category: Criminal

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, the Guardian reports. Zain Qaiser targeted millions of computers with malicious browser-locking software that demanded payment of up to $1 000 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 considers it the most serious case of cybercrime it has investigated, the court heard. Passing sentence yesterday, 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 "king" 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 committed most of his crimes when aged between 18 and 19.

Full report in The Guardian