STMicroelectronics is sampling the first devices to incorporate new security technology for prevent hacking of pay-TV broadcast signals.

According to ST, the intention is to address the illicit decryption of signals for viewing or redistribution which can cost billions of dollars per year to broadcasters in lost revenues.

“Typically, hackers commonly interfere with the set-top boxes’ conditional access mechanism, which frequently uses a smartcard for subscriber authentication,” said the company.

Widely used attacks include card cloning and emulating the card using a PC.

The STi7108 device incorporates the CryptoFirewall security core developed by Cryptography Research which is designed to protect hardware from emulation.

It is suitable for satellite, cable and emerging IP-based pay-TV services, and is compatible with pay-per-view and subscription business models.