Irdeto Access Creates Innovative Step Forward for Security Strategy: New Smart Cards to be Issued On a Regular Basis

Irdeto Access Creates Innovative Step Forward for Security Strategy: New Smart Cards to be Issued On a Regular Basis

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, (BUSINESS WIRE), Sept. 16, 2002–With hundreds of millions of Euros being lost to piracy every year, it is crucial for companies to work proactively to reduce their risks.

Irdeto Access continues to support its customers by introducing a new smart card approximately once per year. The smart card will be released irrespective of whether the existing card has been hacked or not.

Benefits of a new smart card each year include increased profit for the operator, predictable costs, and avoidance of capital expenditure peaks for smart card swap outs.

In addition, Irdeto Access will continue to apply its successful three-pronged approach to piracy using advanced encryption technology, extensive investigation of suspected fraud and counterfeit operations, and close cooperation with international bodies.

Graham Kill, CEO of Irdeto Access commented, “The purpose of doing this is to further reduce the risk associated with having a single card technology in the field that requires a major swap to recover from a security breach. Although none of the latest Conditional Access (CA) products of Irdeto Access have been hacked since January 2000, by releasing a new card each year, we decrease the risk of a breach as such.

“If despite this, a swap is required, the number of cards that needs to be swapped is reduced to those that have been supplied within a single year’s window. This will significantly reduce the risks and costs involved and be extremely beneficial to our customers.”

Irdeto Access, a world-leading provider of content protection and a subsidiary of MIH Ltd. (Nasdaq:MIHL), the subscriber platforms group, has thoroughly analyzed the smart card lifecycle in order to ensure that all aspects of the issue are addressed. Piracy can be broken down into the three phases:

I. The period when the card is unbroken: pirates may attempt to crack the card, but there is no breach known.

II. The period where the card is broken, but the technology is difficult and inconvenient to use and countermeasures limit the use to a small community of enthusiasts: piracy can be managed effectively.

III. The period where the card is broken and the hack becomes widespread and easy to use: the hack becomes a consumer item.

The extensive research on piracy in the industry has clearly shown that it is the third period that impacts the operator’s business. Therefore, the objective of the smart card swap program is to ensure that the duration between swaps is less than the first and second period combined.

For this reason Irdeto Access has planned to have a new smart card available and deployed approximately once per year. This new approach offers content owners a broad range of benefits:

  • New card versions are available before the old one is hacked.
  • The impact of any hack is reduced to just a portion of the smart card base; this also reduces the cost of a swap out.
  • The operational inconvenience of a swap is contained as it is limited to a portion of the base.
  • Irdeto Access is continuously developing cards and can therefore be more responsive to any possible hack of the card.
  • The pirate community has less of an incentive to hack the smart card, as the operator can swap the card out relatively quickly in the event of a hack.
  • The cost of piracy is increased as there is continuously a new target to hack, and the return on the investment made for the hack is reduced.
  • Technology costs are more in sync with the incoming cash flows of the business. This in turn means increased profit for the operator, predictable costs, and avoidance of capital expenditure peaks for smart card swap outs.

In recent years, Irdeto Access has built its experience in tailor-made smart card swap-out programs. In 2000, Irdeto Access appointed a special smart card swap out manager to coordinate all swap outs worldwide and to develop a general framework that is tailored for each individual customer.

The aim of each resulting program is to anticipate, plan, and manage every detail required to quickly roll out new smart cards with minimum disruption and cost to the content owner and its subscribers.

About Irdeto Access

Irdeto Access, a subsidiary of MIH Ltd., the subscriber platforms group, is a world leader in technology for the securing of content from concept to consumer. Irdeto Access specializes in designing, developing and marketing end-to-end solutions to manage and protect content from unauthorized access in both the television broadcast and Internet environments.

Irdeto Access has been providing encryption technology for more than 30 years, and was first to launch an MPEG-2/DVB compliant digital conditional access (CA) system. Irdeto Access developed a compact CA system, Irdeto M-Crypt, for small- to medium-size operations and a complete CA system, Irdeto PIsys, for medium to large operations.

The company’s security systems are operational at more than 85 customer sites and are deployed in more than 60 countries worldwide. There are over 8.5 million Irdeto Access smart cards shipped to date. The company is ISO9001 certified.

Irdeto Access was first to market with technology for secure Internet Protocol multicast scrambling with its Irdeto CypherCast product. Irdeto CypherCast can be used in combination with any streaming media application, including distance learning, corporate training/business TV, data caching and entertainment services.

CONTACT: Irdeto Access
Madelon Kaspers, +31 23 556 2218


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