British Hacker Jailed for Role in Russian Crime Group

According to authorities, Zain Qaiser would pose as a legitimate ad broker to buy online advertising unit from pornographic websites.



A British hacker who worked for a Russian crime syndicate has been sentenced to six years and five months in jail after a National Crime Agency (UK) investigation. Zain Qaiser was found to have received at least £700,000 (US$914,105) from his activities involving blackmail and malware, which began in 2012 and continued through 2018.

According to authorities, Qaiser would pose as a legitimate ad broker to buy online advertising unit from pornographic websites. He would then use the space to post ads that would direct victims to websites hosting malware, including the Angler Exploit Kit (AEK) and Reveton ransomware. Victims would pay blackmail and data ransoms using cryptocurrency that would then be laundered through a complex series of global transactions.

Authorities said Qaiser spent most of the funds he received on stays in high-end hotels, prostitutes, gambling, drugs, and luxury items.

Qaiser admitted to 11 offenses, including blackmail, fraud, money laundering, and computer misuse. He was jailed at Kingston Crown Court.

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