News Corp. Pay-TV Software Unit Hacked ITV Cable Cards, BBC Says

The pay-TV software maker co-owned by News Corp. (NWSA) helped bring down U.K. competitor ITV Digital in 2002 by paying hackers to deconstruct its set-top cards and put the codes online, BBC Panorama reported.

NDS Group Ltd. (NNDS), owned by New York-based News Corp. and London hedge fund Permira Advisers LLP, hired hacker Lee Gibling after he successfully targeted NDS’s cards, and paid him to hack ITV’s technology, BBC Panorama reported yesterday, citing former hackers. ITV was at the time threatening pay-TV revenue at British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY), which is part-owned by News Corp., BBC said.

James Murdoch, the deputy chief operating officer of News Corp., was a non-executive director of NDS when the alleged hacking took place, BBC said. NDS denied the allegations, BBC reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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