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News Corporation’s NDS Denies ITV Digital Hacking Claims

The latest storm for Murdoch's News Corporation was prompted by a BBC Panorama investigation which claimed that NDS, a subsidiary company, employed a hacker to sabotage a pay-TV rival.

ITV Digital, a rival to Sky which was first launched as ONDigital back in 1998, is alleged to have been hacked and under the orders of NDS, the stolen data was leaked. That data could be (and was) used to manufacture counterfeit smart cards, giving folks free access to ITV Digital's service, obviously a great detriment to revenue. Indeed, eventually Sky's rival outfit went bust.

However, NDS has come forward to flatly deny it was involved in the episode in any way.

Lee Gibling, owner of the Thoic website, made the claim that he was paid by NDS to publish the thieved data. NDS, however, admits they employed Gibling, but only to gather intelligence and track hackers.

NDS issued a statement which read: "It is simply not true that NDS used the Thoic website to sabotage the commercial interests of ONDigital/ITV Digital or indeed any rival. As part of the fight against pay-TV piracy, all companies in the conditional access industry - and many law enforcement agencies - come to possess codes that could enable hackers to access services for free."

"It is wrong to claim NDS has ever been in possession of any codes for the purpose of promoting hacking or piracy."

Ofcom is currently investigating Murdoch and News Corp as to whether they are "fit and proper" persons to be in control of BSkyB. While there's no evidence Murdoch knew about the alleged ITV Digital saga, coming on top of the phone hacking scandal, this dollop of slung mud is unlikely to help his cause.

Source: BBC (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.