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Porn Hacker Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Prison

A hacker who blackmailed porn users in what is being described as the UK's "most serious case of cyber crime" has been sentenced to six years and five months in prison.

Zain Qaiser, 24, targeted porn users by locking their internet browsers and forcing them to hand over money, an operation that began in 2012 and developed into a complex money laundering scheme.

Authorities say he made at least AU$1.2 million from the scheme. He would purchase legitimate advertising spaces on popular porn websites, which when clicked on, would freeze the user's browser. A pop up notice would then demand a transfer of funds to a fake government agency in order to unlock the browser.

An example of the locked browser screen Credit: NCA/PA

The scheme operated in more than a dozen countries, with thousands of people affected.

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Qaiser actions didn't only affect the users. A number of businesses tried to stop his advertising efforts once they realised what they were, at which point Qaiser would blackmail, threaten and spam those sites -- resulting in those businesses losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, too.

Zain Qaiser is facing six years and five months in prison. Photo: AAP.

A court in UK said Qaiser spent the majority of his earnings on luxury items, including Rolex watches, hotels, and on a number of gambling sprees. He was found guilty on all 11 charges.

The National Crime Agency says it is the "most serious case of cyber crime" that they have ever investigated.

Contact the author: nkelland@networkten.com.au