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Hacker says News Corp hired him

Smart cards, smarter hacker

Corporate espionage is alive and well. That's according to one hacker who has testified that he was hired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to develop pirating software, but denied claims that he was also tasked with penetrating a rival's security system.

DISH Network believes that the ultimate goal of Christopher Tarnovsky was to break its security and flood the market with pirated smart cards that would cost the company millions of dollars in subscription revenue.


Tarnovsky has testified that he was hired by News Corp’s NDS group and paid by News Corp publishing arm Harper-Collins. But he insists that he was only working on a pirating program to make DirectTV – one of NDS’ clients – more secure, despite confirming that he has built a "stinger" that can communicate with any smart card.

Echostar Communications – which brought the lawsuit – split into DISH and EchoStar Corp.

"I never got money for reprogramming Echostar cards," Tarnovsky said as he played the conspiracy card. "Someone is trying to set me up."

The case continues…