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Rupert the Terrible

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by DeadEye, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. DeadEye

    DeadEye
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    Hi all!

    My first post - maybe a bit controversial.

    Having given up the fight to bypass Murdocks monopoly and dictatorship in watching more than five channels I have got Sky+.

    I have a PC with a DVB CAM card in it - to which i can get a CAM which will get me access to lots of other satallites. I never wanted to get Sky for free or cheat the system, I just wanted it to go through my Home Cinema PC which is connected to my Plasma TV in the living room. Sky have decided that Sky CAMs are illigal with serious penalties and almost any thread I ever find on the internet about them (and where to perhaps get one) are gone within a couple of days - usually the whole website is gone! I know this may sound very cloak and dagger but seriously as a policy why would Sky MAKE you only watch sky with a Sky Digi Box? If I ever talk to a supplier of CAMs and even mention Sky CAMs they go all quiet and that is the end of the conversion!

    I guess I just wanted to know if anyone else was as frastrated as me which Sky - who lets face it are just using Sky TV as a mass marketing tool.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Nope.

    SKY were nearly brought to their knees by piracy and I am not surprised that when they had the option to move to a digital platform it was easy to decide to only support licensed hardware with inbuilt CAM's thus eliminating a huge weakness in the encryption.
    The lack of NDS Cams which would be suitable for the variant SKY use is I have no doubt one of the cornerstones of SKY's excellent content protection.

    However having said all that I do miss the choice of STB's and their wide range of abilities that we had with SKY analogue:)
     
  3. Nick_UK

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    I would say that "brought to their knees" is a bit OTT, but I do know that the last hack on the Sky analogue system cost Sky over £1,000,000 to defeat, and that is only the cost of the card revamp, not the cost of lost revenues.

    Sky have spent a lot of money making their system very difficult to hack. I can understand their reluctance to make it any easier.
     
  4. DeadEye

    DeadEye
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    £1M is not exactly going to hurt that organisation is it.

    I still think they could licence official CAMs that still require a card and still requires that the card is matched to the CAM as is the case with Digi Boxes.

    The requirement of matching in this way would mean they could check weather the CAM is an official one or not.

    So the security risk I think is limited. Also it is not easier reverse engineering a CAM than it would be for a DigiBox.
     
  5. GGTVBD

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    As I understand it, it is illegal for Sky not to allow CAM's for NDS encryption. That certainly was the case when Sky Digital started. CAM's have been made for NDS but do mysteriously disappear the minute they're advertised.

    As always, Sky get their own way.

    Believe me, there is a 'hack' out there. A bloke in the pub offered me a card only last night. :rotfl:

    Seriously though - it's out there. As I've said before - if a digibox can be cloned, a viewing card can. Multiple cards on one account is the first step but Sky will close that in a breath. Who can blame them?

    Please note I do not condone piracy in any way. :D

    A. Dork
     
  6. Starburst

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    Yep you are right:)
    However if SKY had not changed smartcards at least 9(?) times then eventually the revenues would have dropped, broadcasters abandon the service and no new broadcasters join up then like the two Italian hacked services SKY bites the dust.
     
  7. Starburst

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    The £1million figure was for the analogue service which peaked at around 3million subscribers around 1997/98.
    The one and only card swap for SKY D entailed 7million new cards and rumoured to have cost in the region of £100 million however it's still uncertain if that swap was totally down to security concerns or additional functions offered by a more modern smartcard.

    There is also the issue of income that is generated from the digibox and services that it's software creates all which would be impossible with a non SKY digibox.
    Security is a major issue and the path SKY chose has proven that they made the right decision from a business point of view although as we would all agree it's not the ideal solution for ALL viewers/subscribers:)
     
  8. Nick_UK

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    It's not that hard to "hack" a Sky card which would make it work short-term, because it's easy to observe the conversations between the box and card, since the card interface is serial, and it would be easy to produce a card which mimics the responses given by a real card.

    However, that would only work until an encryption key was changed, and since the key can be changed twice a second, I don't think this sort of hack represents a big threat.
     
  9. alunj

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    the cam issue is 'no more' an issue
    There are at least two software cam emu that can deal with NDS
    So far I have only seen them for powerpc (ie dreambox/ dbox2)
    but Im pretty sure that an i386 version is about.

    The emu requires a reall card and has to be paired. What really spooks
    the content providers isnt so much the use of non sky boxes but the possibility that with non closed hardware other avenues open up like recording non encryped content and 'cardsharing' whicj afaik will be very hard to defeat.
     
  10. DeadEye

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    All good comments, cheers guys!

    BTW Nick UK, I have the same Plasma, how do you find it?
     

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