Tag Archives: conditional access

New pay-TV card-sharing scam uncovered in Cyprus

A rare example of a so-called ‘card-sharing’ pay-TV piracy operation has come to light following AEPOC’s announcement of a police raid in Cyprus.
On June 14th a 49-year-old Cypriot man was arrested for illegally providing subscriptions to the pay-TV offerings of BFBS, BSkyB and Nova.
The pirate is accused of having provided illegal pay-TV subscriptions to nearly 1,400 clients in Cyprus and across Europe – earning at least €100,000 over an eight-month period, according to some estimates.
Card-sharing exploits a weakness in the DVB conditional access system through which a legitimate smartcard is hacked to provide a stream of access codes which can be distributed for a fee to consumers unwilling to pay the full price for a pay-TV subscription.
Farncombe discussed the nature of this weakness in detail in a White Paper entitled: Towards a Replacement for the DVB Common Scrambling Algorithm.

Farncombe: Pay-TV shift to two-way networks will mean move away from smartcard-based conditional access systems

Farncombe Consulting Group, which hosts this blog, has just published a new White Paper on how the Digital TV Conditional Access sector will be affected by the shift towards broadband-enabled pay-TV networks.

Written by Farncombe’s own highly-experienced group of in-house video security experts, the White Paper assesses the pros and cons of using smartcard-based and cardless systems in different types of pay-TV set-up, ranging from traditional one-way broadcast TV operations to broadband-enabled two-way IP and connected home networks.

The paper concludes that while smartcards continue to remain the solution of choice for protecting one-way systems, cardless-based solutions are preferable for protecting video content in IPTV, ‘over-the-top’ and home networking contexts.

For one-way networks migrating to broadband connectivity, meanwhile, both types of system have their advantages, depending largely on the availability, reliability and quality of the broadband network.

The White Paper’s authors go on to suggest that since the traditional one-way pay-TV world is slowly but surely changing into a two-way one, it is likely that there will be a gradual shift away from smartcard-based systems in favour of cardless ones – led by the digital cable sector.

A PDF of the new White Paper can be obtained from Farncombe by clicking here and filling in a simple registration form.