NDS accused in hacker plot that helped sink ITV

Previous allegations of a hacking scandal involving content security firm NDS have been revived just as the company is being acquired by Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), as the leader of a hacker site alleged that NDS was the brains behind piracy activity that helped bring down a rival of its satellite TV player Sky, NDS's sister company under corporate parent News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA).

More than a decade ago, NDS was accused of having ties to a U.K. hacker site, the aptly-named The House of Ill Compute, that was providing access codes to the broader community of hackers to allows them to get services for free from Sky competitor ITV Digital. At the time, NDS said its links to the site were intended only for information-gathering on how hackers operate.

However, ThoIC founder Lee Gibling told the BBC this week that NDS had much more active and intentional involvement in the distribution of the ITV pirate codes to the hacker community. Gibling goes so far as to allege of NDS that the ITV hacking plot was "their baby."

NDS has already denied the fresh accusations to ZDNet UK, but renewal of the hacking scandal comes at a fairly bad time for all of the companies involved. Content security technology has become increasingly important and valuable in the era of multi-screen delivery, and Cisco just announced that it would buy NDS from News Corp. and private equity firm Permira for about $5 billion. Also, News Corp.'s is undergoing regulatory investigation as he attempts to take complete ownership of Sky operators BskyB, in which News Corp. already owns a 39 percent stake.

For more:
-see this ZDNet UK post

On the Hot Seat: Kip Compton: Cisco's NDS deal will boost MSOs' connected TV plans

Related articles:
Cisco announced the NDS deal just over a week ago
News Corp. has seen retransmission revenue jump