Geek ‘planted infected software on porn sites’

A cyber criminal targeted people surfing porn websites with bogus threats of criminal action unless they sent him money, a court heard.

Zain Qaiser, 22, allegedly cooked up an elaborate scam to plant adverts infected with malware on porn sites, to allow him hack into users’s computers.

He installed browser locking software to freeze the user’s screen, followed by a message informing them criminal proceedings would be initiated if they refused to pay a fee, it is said.

Qaiser is said to have made tens of thousands of pounds from people surfing legal porn sites who were terrified they had broken the law.

He also targeted advertising companies operating on porn sites to blackmail them into letting him place malware-infected adverts to snare his victims, it was said.

Qaisir, of Cranleigh Gardens, Barking, Essex, denied four counts of blackmail and five counts of doing an unauthorised act with intent to impair the operation of a computer between September 2012 and November 2014.

He further denied three counts of fraud by false representation in relation to the fake advertising accounts.

He is due to face a six week trial on 12 February next year.

Prosecutor Joel Smith said: ‘The allegation at its simplist is that this defendant bought advertising space on porn websites, he would place an advertisment in that space and in some instances would infect users’ computers with malware.

‘When the advert was clicked the machine would be infected and the user’s screen would be locked, a message would appear that they had accessed criminal material and law enforcement proceedings would be initiated unless a fee was paid.’

None of the porn websites, the advertisers or any of the porn website users had actually been doing or viewing anything illegal, said Mr Smith.

Bailing Qaiser on condition he doesn’t apply for any international travel documents or contact any of the witnesses, Judge Wendy Joseph, QC, warned him: ‘You must assist in preparing your defence – it’s quite detailed and will take a lot of work.’

‘You must be back here for your trial on 12 February next year – if you do notattend that’s a further offence and the trial can take place in your absence.’

 

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