[ISN] Murdoch company 'leaked rival's TV codes'

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Apr 12 2002 - 01:05:55 PDT

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    By Ashling O'Connor 
    Media Correspondent
    Published: April 11 2002 21:31 
    A News Corporation whistleblower has claimed that NDS, a software
    subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's pay-television empire, directed an
    employee to leak secret codes belonging to its closest rival to
    internet pirates.
    Oliver Kommerling, a software security consultant, on Thursday said in
    a written deposition to a California court that Chris Tarnovsky, an
    NDS employee on the West Coast, arranged for Canal Plus Technologies'
    codes - enabling smart cards in pay-TV boxes - to be published on the
    The allegations, submitted as evidence in a $1bn (E1.1bn) lawsuit
    brought by Canal Plus, the pay-TV arm of Vivendi Universal would, if
    true, blow apart NDS's defence that it was not party to the hacking
    suffered by the French company. NDS maintains it was not a party to
    the hacking suffered by the French company.
    They will also exacerbate tensions between Mr Murdoch and Jean-Marie
    Messier, Vivendi's chief executive, fierce payTV rivals. NDS
    technology is used by News Corp's British Sky Broadcasting, while
    Canal Plus's smart cards are used by Vivendi and ITV Digital.
    Both Canal Plus and ITV Digital are claiming hundreds of millions of
    pounds in lost revenues from the piracy, which allowed hackers to
    access films, sports and other content free. Canal Plus says it is
    concerned its next generation of smart cards, out next week, will also
    be hacked.
    Mr Kommerling, whose company ADSR is 60 per cent-owned by NDS, claims
    to have been told by NDS employees that the Canal Plus code - cracked
    by NDS technicians in an Israeli laboratory - was sent to Chris
    Tarnovsky, who had connections with the internet piracy community.
    "The same NDS employees told me that it was agreed that Mr Tarnovsky
    should arrange for Canal Plus code to be published on the internet,"  
    he said in his deposition.
    Canal Plus is seeking the disclosure of certain documents by NDS,
    whose directors include James and Lachlan Murdoch. It says it wants to
    avoid the destruction of potential evidence.
    A California judge will next week hear motions by both parties. NDS
    denies all charges.
    NDS on Thursday night refused to comment on the fresh evidence
    presented by Canal Plus.
    But in its motion, obtained by the Financial Times, it said: "It is an
    attempt by an inept competitor to shift the blame for its
    incompetence, to damage its skilled competitor behind the shield of
    the litigation privilege and to extract an unfair price in merger
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