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Sky Italia hack available on Titanium cards



The popular pay-TV operator Sky Italia is once again free to pirate viewers following a major hack released to newsgroups and forums on Saturday.

The hack uses the expensive but higher-powered Titanium card available from many vendors across the web. Most channels including pay-per-view and late night mature content appear to be open, although momentarily dropping out on some set ups.

Late last month Sky Italia officials announced that they would be dropping Mediaguard/SECA for their own seemingly secure Videoguard/NDS, used with great success by Sky Digital in the UK.

Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge said last month: "To ensure ongoing security of transmission and to achieve the efficiency and stability of a common software platform it is necessary to use only a single encryption system and Sky has chosen NDS to be its single encryption system in the future."

The SECA encryption system was originally deployed in Italy in 1997 by Telepiu, which then was a subsidiary of Canal Plus, whose subsidiary, Canal Plus Technologies, supplied the system. The initial version deployed by SECA was known as SECA I and in May 2002 this was replaced by SECA II due to widespread piracy concerns. SECA I was used by ONdigital/ITV Digital in the UK and was partly responsible for it's collapse due to 1,000's of pirate viewers.

In July 2003 Thomson acquired Canal Plus Technologies and in turn, in January 2004 the business was acquired by Nagra, with Sky Italia was formed on 1 May 2003 by the merger of Telepiu and Stream, competing pay-TV rivals. At that time Stream operated with the encryption systems Irdeto, SECA and Videoguard/NDS.

Sky ceased operating the Irdeto encryption system in February 2004, but was expected to continue broadcasts in Mediaguard/SECA for some time. The latest hack will no doubt confirm Sky Italia's decision to drop Mediaguard/SECA.