News Production & Post

Kudelski fights the hackers

11 January 2006

Swiss smart-card specialists Kudelski firmly deniesits Nagra pay-TV conditional access system has been hacked, writes Chris Forrester.

There have been widespread reports that Premiere in Germany has suffered piracy problems. Andre Kudelski, president, states the problems are minor and part of the everyday challenge that his business faces. "What is happening in Germany is perfectly normal, especially in terms of its timing. The good news is that for more than two years we used the original [card] configuration without an attack. We and Premiere will chose the time, the day and the hour when we will do something, and this is part of the overall process," said Kudelski.

"We will absolutely protect our client, not just today and a year from now, but two years from now and beyond," he said, adding that over the next few months they would release two fundamentally new [encryption] technologies. "We have a road-map in place where new security products might be introduced, and when we might link an operator with these new technologies." He said all smart cards are subject to attempted attack. "In some markets the speed of attack is faster or earlier than others, and in some markets slower. But we continuously anticipate what the hackers’ next move might be."

Nagravision has also developed an attractive ‘advanced push-VOD’ product, which the firm claims is ahead of any rival in the market. The solution comes from work with Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB, also Swiss-based) and OpenTV, and is totally compatible for emerging HDTV technologies.

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