News Corporation has been linked to high-profile hacking cases in the past. New allegations have surfaced that a News Corporation company called NDS hired a hacker to dig up the set-top pay-TV codes of a rival in the digital smartcard business called ITV Digital. The allegations come from a man named Lee Gibling that operated website in late 1990s called the House of Ill-Compute and was also known as Thoic.
It sounds as if the website was a place to hire pirates and hackers. According to Gibling, NDS funded the expansion of his website and later had him distribute pay-TV codes from its rival. The distributed codes allowed consumers to access ITV Digital programming without paying. NDS admits to hiring Gibling, but claims, he was merely a consultant used to inform on hackers.
ITV Digital went bankrupt in 2002 citing piracy of its smartcards as a major reason for its failure. ITV’s former CTO, Simon Dore, claims that piracy was the “killer blow” for the company. Gibling maintains that the codes offered on the Thoic site originated from NDS. Gibling says that the website was his in name only, that it truly belonged to NDS.
Gibling said, “Everything that was in the closed area of Thoic was totally accessed by any of the NDS representatives.” He continued, “It was NDS. It was their baby and it started to become more their baby as they fashioned it to their own design.”