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Unsuspecting masturbators blackmailed for millions

April 10, 2019

Porn-site hacker bought hookers and Rolex with proceeds

* Moment hacker, 24, splashes his ill-gotten gains in casino spree after working with a Russian crime group to blackmail porn users out of £500,000 – as he is jailed for more than six years  

Zain Qaiser lived at home with his family

A UK computer hacker working for a Russian crime group has been jailed for six years and five months for his role in blackmailing unsuspecting would-be masterbators who visited pornography websites, according to the UK’s National Crime Agency.

An undisclosed number of victims from over 20 countries were pumped for millions of dollars in the scheme, in which 24-year-old computer scientist Zain Qaiser of Barking in Essex used fraudulent identities and fake companies to buy advertising space on legal porn sites, which were “laced with malicious software.” Once a victim’s computer was infected, a pop-up message purporting to be law enforcement would accuse people of crimes – which they could rectify by paying a fine.

When users clicked on the ads they were redirected to another website, hosting highly-sophisticated malware strains including the infamous Angler Exploit Kit (AEK) – believed to have been created, managed and marketed by one of Qaiser’s Russian-speaking associates. Users with any vulnerabilities would subsequently be infected with a malicious payload.

One of those malicious payloads was a piece of software called Reveton – a type of malware that would lock a user’s browser. Once locked, the infected device would display a message purporting to be from a law enforcement or a government agency, which claimed an offence had been committed and the victim had to pay a fine of anything between $300-$1,000 in order to unlock their device. – National Crime Agency

According to UK authorities, Qaiser spent his more than £700,000 ($912,000 US) share of the ill-gotten-booty on stays in high-end hotes, hookers, gambling, drugs and luxury items – including a £5,000 ($6,500 US) Rolex watch. During one 10-month stretch, Qaiser spent £68,000 ($88,000 US) on gambling in one London casino.

Zain Qaiser

Qaiser was brought down in the “extremely long-running, complex cyber-crime investigation” in which UK investigators worked with agencies in the US, Canada and Europe – while the FBI and US Secret Service arrested others in connection to the global malware campaign.

“Zain Qaiser was an integral part of this organised crime group generating millions of pounds in ransom payments by blackmailing countless victims and threatening them with bogus police investigations,” reads the report.

Qaiser admitted to 11 offenses – including blackmail, fraud, money laundering and computer misuse. He was jailed at Kingston Crown Court. Zain better hope that nobody in prison uses a backdoor exploit to access his mainframe.


From → World Watch

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