Hacker claims News Corp hired him

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A hacker has told the court that he was hired by News Corporation, the owners of The Australian, The New York Post and FOX, to develop pirating software.

Christopher Tarnovsky, described as one of the two best hackers in the world, denied using the software to hack into a rival satellite television service. He is testifying in a corporate-spying lawsuit against News Corp’s NDS Group by Dish Network.

NDS, which provides the security technology to DirecTV, has said that it was looking only into how its rival’s technology works, a standard in the electronics industry.

Tarnovsky has also said to the court that he was paid on a regular basis by News Corp’s publishing arm Harper Collins for 10 years. He also said that his first payment was US$20,000 in cash, hidden in electronic devices.

Lawyers for Dish claim that his mission was to hack into its satellite network, steal the security code and then flood the market with fake smart cards, resulting in US$900 million in lost revenue and system repairs.

Another hacker, Tony Dionisi, has said that Tarnovsky talked about creating "the stinger" and he knew of another hacker, who also works at NDS, who reprogrammed 50 smart cards with the device.

The trial could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages awarded to Dish.

The trial continues.

The source for this story is News.com.au, owned by News Corporation.

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