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“I never got money for reprogramming Echostar cards. Someone is trying to set me up,” said Christopher Tarnovsky with regards to the allegations leveled against him.
News Corp claims hackers only assisted in internal network security

The world’s “second best hacker” says he was hired under the table by media conglomerate News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal, MySpace, Fox News, and DirecTV.

Christopher Tarnovsky, testifying in Echostar v. NDS, says he was paid $20,000 -- mailed inside electronics sent from Canada -- to break into DISH Network’s satellite system and steal security codes necessary for pirating DISH Network’s satellite signals. EchoStar communications, which owned the DISH Network before a split in December of 2007, alleges that hackers from NDS Group, owned by News Corporation, employed hackers to flood the market with smart cards for satellite receivers designed specifically to steal paid DISH content. Both EchoStar and DISH, as separate entities, are plaintiffs in the case.

The suit alleges that the smart cards cost DISH $900M in lost sales and network repairs.

Tarnovsky says that while he was employed to develop “pirating software,” it was not used against DISH or any other rival – instead, it was designed to secure DirecTV’s network.

DISH attorneys said Tarnovsky constructed a device called “The Stinger” – which Tarnovsky admitted to doing – that was able to interface with any smart card, regardless of which company it was designed to work with. Tarnovsky says his actions with The Stinger were aboveboard, but DISH attorneys claimed that hackers and/or NDS employees used it to reprogram at least 50 DISH Network smart cards.

“I never got money for reprogramming Echostar cards,” Tarnovsky testified. “Someone is trying to set me up.”

Patent records reveal Tarnovsky received patent protection on a “system for testing, verifying legitimacy of smart card in-situ and for storing data therein” in 2005.

Earlier, fellow hacker and associate Tony Dionisi testified that he recalled Tarnovsky bragging to him about The Stinger, and told the court that he knew of “another hacker and NDS employee” who used the machine to reprogram DISH’s smart cards.

Tarnovsky says he was paid on a regular basis for 10 years, and received paychecks from Harper Collins, News Corp’s publishing company.

DISH lead attorney Wade Welch, speaking earlier this month, said NDS’ plan was to take hackers “off the streets” and “turn them on the competitors.”

“They called it the Black Hat Team,” said Welch.

NDS says it’s done nothing wrong. “Because this is a competitive business, NDS also monitors competitors,” said NDS attorney Richard Stone. “NDS has done nothing to illegally harm or damage EchoStar. All NDS has done is compete hard and fair in the marketplace.”

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I was in the courtroom
By Hewlett on 4/24/2008 11:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
I was present most of Wednesday when this guy was in the "box".

This article is not even close to what his testimony was.

I think we can get a transcript of his testimony but I'm not sure.

This is sad the news reporters who were present are exaggerating and lying. When the trial is over and the facts are in the public they are then going to tell the truth? I don't get it.

RE: I was in the courtroom
By mpjesse on 4/25/2008 12:35:39 AM , Rating: 2
Would you care to elaborate on the supposed discrepancies?

RE: I was in the courtroom
By Hewlett on 4/25/2008 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
I don't remember everything exact but this $20000.00 was some kind of payment from one of the dish pirates in canada from an undercover operation - not from his employer or harper collins.

There was a lot of talk about undercover operations and spying like if he was part of the CIA.

He spoke of a very impressive secret military background too but nothing is mentioned.

I think it is a little bit sad the reporters copy false information from 1-2 sources and then change it around a little and keep publishing it. Then they tell you that you need permission to use the article LOL.

Print some truth guys, a spy article would make you the author being copied instead of the copier.

RE: I was in the courtroom
By Hewlett on 4/25/2008 10:50:14 AM , Rating: 2
When I said, "Dish pirates in Canada", I meant an ex-directv hacker (Eriser) who now hacks Dish and works for Dish and was a "witness" to what seems to be nothing. Mr Eriser seems to say something at the moment and then if asked an hour later say something totally different.

Eriser came across very uncredible Tuesday.

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