ORS and Irdeto take action against hack
Published: 10.40 UTC, January 21, 2011 by Robert Briel

In a joint effort to combat the recent hack of the Austrian DTH platform, the technical platform operator ORS and Irdeto are implementing ECMs to stop pirate satellite tuners to receive the signals. As a result, over 1.3 million smart cards need to be replaced.

At the same time, the two parties are actively pursuing closure of websites and forums that openly advertise and instruct viewers on how to hack the signal.

ORS has taken the first electronic counter measures (ECMs), that should make illegal reception impossible. Every week, a new code will be sent to all official smart cards. But further measure are needed in order to secure the system for the future. This will in volve exchanging older generation smart cards during the next few months.

ORS is the Austrian facilities company that operates the DTH platform of public broadcasters ORF. The recently launched AustriaSat platform from the M7 Group also makes use of the same technical infrasture and is also believed to be affected by the hack.

When the first reports about the hack surfaced, ORS denied the system was compromised. Now, the operator has confirmed the leak. “It is true that ORF Digital system was attacked by hackers,” ORS spokesperson Michael Weber told the online news service Futurezone.at. “They have illegaly counterfeited the key of a customer card.”

Three generations of the Irdeto Cryptoworks (formerly Philips Cryptworks) smarts cards are affected by the hack. They are the Cryptoworks generation 4, 5 and 6. These are cards that were sold in reatil in the period between 2003 and 2006. In order to secure the signal again, these cards need to be replaced since they will no longer work after the necessary security update of the system.

Newer generations of the card will be able to continue to receive the signals. About 1.8 million of these newer cards have been sold. NOTE – We have contacted Irdeto for comments and will publish it as soon as possible.