Satellite-TV Hacking Allegations Return for Murdoch
It’s been four years since Rupert Murdoch’s NDS subsidiary was largely cleared in a civil lawsuit charging that the company employed hackers to sabotage rival companies.
Now the allegations have surfaced again, this time with internal e-mails allegedly documenting a coordinated scheme to damage competitors to Murdoch’s media empire that was led by a former Israeli intelligence officer and former UK police officers working for the Murdoch firm. Their actions extended far beyond the original allegations, according to a BBC documentary and the Australian Financial Review.
The e-mails purport to show that security officers working for NDS were behind a piracy web site called The House of Ill Compute, or thoic.com, where hackers posted codes that allowed users to pirate pay-TV services for Murdoch competitors. The e-mails also purport to show that NDS withheld from one its clients, DirectTV, methods to fight widespread piracy at the same time Murdoch was attempting to buy the company.
NDS reportedly paid a hacker named Lee Gibling about $8,000 monthly to run the site, which garnered up to 2 million hits a day during its heyday in 2000.