Murdoch-sponsored piracy killed pay TV rival

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News subsidiary paid for distribution of rival's hacked pay TV codes.

A British man has alleged he was recruited by News Corporation to distribute hacked pay TV codes from a rival company, BBC reports.

Hacker Lee Gibling said pay TV smartcard manufacturer NDS had paid him to distribute codes for set-top boxes on the now-defunct ITV Digital service to pirate sites.

They were distributed through his website, The House of Ill-Compute (THOIC), in the late 1990s, which NDS funded in order for him to distribute the hacked codes which were obtained by NDS.

He said NDS paid for THOIC servers and had full access to the site and its pirate activities.

NDS built smartcards for News Corp's portfolio of pay TV companies.

NDS denied the allegations and said Gibling was used to inform on hackers via the THOIC website.

But internal NDS documents revealed hacked codes had been passed to a former senior British policeman, then within NDS' security unit.

ITV Digital former chief technical officer, Simon Dore, told the BBC the company went bust in 2002 because its working pay TV codes were littered throughout the internet.

It was "the killer blow for the business, there is no question", he said.

James Murdoch, then chair of Sky, said he had no involvement and had no knowledge of the THOIC website.

A British Government committee investigating the phone-hacking scandal facing News Corp called for the latest allegations to be examined.

The British telecom regulator Ofcom is concurrently investigating whether News Corp should be allowed to control BSkyB and Sky TV.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia


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