PRESS RELEASE (AEPOC)- German court sentences card sharing operator to 18 months in prison for computer fraud
The district court in Stolzenau (Lower Saxony, Germany) has pronounced a clear verdict in a criminal case against a 51-year-old man who was charging third parties to provide them with pay-TV programming illegally obtained from the pay TV company, Sky Deutschland. Services were provided to the third parties through card sharing. The defendant was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment without parole for commercial computer fraud carried out in partnership with others.
Following Sky and NAGRA’s consistent measures to combat information and communication technology crime, the companies’ expert tracked this case for a few years. It was suspected that the same offender had sold such illegal offers via the internet on several occasions. Sky and NAGRA, the manufacturer of one of the content protection systems used by Sky, worked closely together on intensive intelligence-gathering. On the basis of their findings, the Central Office for Combating Information and Communication Technology Crime of the Verden public prosecutor’s office commenced proceedings that led to the identification and successful prosecution of the perpetrator.
Dr. Andreas Rudloff, Vice President Platform Services & Security at Sky said that “The verdict is a further decisive step in the fight against information and communication technology crimes, also known as cybercrime. Once again, a clear sign has been given that the perpetrators of these illegal activities will be brought to justice. Close cooperation between the companies affected – Sky Deutschland and NAGRA in this case – during the preliminary investigations in the black market and the persistent investigative work by the law enforcement authorities have shown that decisive, focused action leads to success.”
Pascal Métral, Vice-President Legal Affairs at NAGRA and Kudelski Security said that: “This sentence sends a strong signal to pirates and cyber criminals, whereby pay-tv piracy and cybercrime is considered as severe offences and punished as such. This decision is the result of efficient cooperation between Sky Deutschland and NAGRA and thorough investigation by the cybercrime unit of the Verden public prosecutor’s office. NAGRA is continuing the battle against piracy and cybercrime to support its customers in Germany and elsewhere around the globe.”
Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA, commented that: “This case shows that persistence and tenacity pay off and demonstrates also the benefits of collaboration amongst AAPA members. Very importantly, the case has confirmed that card sharing is a computer fraud and associated investigation techniques should be applied.”
Michigan Federal Court enters final judgment and permanent injunction against Robert Bebout and his website www.newgeniks.info
On January 10, 2013 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for final judgment against Robert Bebout individually and d/b/a www.newgeniks.info. Defendants were sued by DISH Network and NagraStar for federal claims arising out of their operation of the Newgeniks website, which took over after NagraStar shut down its predecessor site www.nexiks.com. The Court’s order includes a permanent injunction against Defendants as well as an award of $25,000.00 in statutory damages under the Federal Communications Act (“FCA”), including an award of enhanced statutory damages for Defendants commercial gain. The Court further ordered Defendant to preserve its business and customer records and any further operation of websites that market, promote, distribute piracy-related technology. DISH Network and NagraStar continue to investigate and take action against those responsible for trying to circumvent the companies’ security system or trafficking in products or technology that facilitates unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged a Kanata man in connection with selling pirated satellite receivers.
Members of the RCMP’s A Division Federal Investigations Unit and inspectors from Industry Canada executed a search warrant at a Colonnade Road business on Dec. 20, according to a release.
The search resulted in the seizure of satellite receivers and computers allegedly used to modify legal satellite receivers so they could obtain encrypted signals from Bell Express Vu and Dish Network.
Laith Murtadha Kadhim was arrested during the search. Described as an employee of the business, Kadhim faces two charges under the Radiocommunications Act for decoding an encrypted subscription programming signal or an encrypted network feed without authorization and retransmitting it to the public. He also faces one criminal charge for selling a device to obtain telecommunication facility or service.
Kadhim is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 30.
More to come.
Ten month sentence for owner of illegal card sharing network;
Global security leaders partner with content distributors to combat media piracy in Europe
It was revealed today that global content security companies Irdeto and NAGRA have been working with satellite service provider M7 Group to investigate and disrupt the illegal distribution of pay TV content in Belgium.
As a result of this work, Ahmad Masroor was convicted in the Herselt Court in Belgium charged with operating an illegal commercial control word sharing server on 29 September 2012. Masroor was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and ordered to forfeit €50,000 in a Paypal account that was used to collect subscriptions to the illegal service.
Said Hans Troelstra, COO, M7 Group: “M7 will continue to fight piracy with both legal and technical means. We have joint forces with CA vendors and other pay TV operators throughout Europe to further increase the effect of our counter measures.”
Investigation into the case commenced in 2009 and focused around the website www.CCcam.tv. The site offered pirate subscriptions for a wide range of pay TV content including TV VLAANDEREN, TéléSAT and CanalDigital. Irdeto made a test purchase from the suspect and subsequently provided expert evidence regarding the control word sharing server to the Belgian Economic Inspectorate. Control word sharing piracy poses a major threat to pay TV operators and broadcasters and occurs when a pirate steals and retransmits a regularly changing control word that is passed between a smart card and a set-top-box (STB), allowing subscribers to watch TV content they have not paid for. Upon receiving the evidence, the Belgian Economic Inspectorate raided the premises of the suspect, seizing PC’s, laptops, hard drives, servers and business records. Click here to see Exhibit A: CCcam.tv home page, Exhibit B: CCcam.tv pirate subscriptions and Exhibit C: CCcam.tv FAQ.
A security director of the Irdeto Anti-Piracy & Forensics Unit, said, “The result of this case is significant not only for the strong conviction, but is one of the first cases where assets in the form of profits in a Paypal account were forfeited.
“Illegal profit is the primary motivation for pay TV pirates and this judgment sends a forceful deterrent message to other would-be pirates that if you are caught, not only will you face a lengthy prison sentence but you will also lose your ill-gotten gains. The final court result is very pleasing given the months of work put in by Irdeto, NAGRA and the M7 Group to protect our customers from this significant commercial threat. We continue to work closely with our customers and our industry on both technical and legal fronts to address piracy.”
Pascal Metral, Principal Corporate Lawyer at NAGRA and Kudelski Security units said, “This decision confirms the trend observed in other territories where such pay-tv piracy leads to numerous and successful prosecutions. Fighting piracy requires a combination of technical and legal countermeasures. We were pleased to bring our expertise and collaborate with M7 and Irdeto in fighting this case and will continue to do so around the globe.”
By means of a presidential decree, Uruguay has banned the sale of AZBox STBs and other similar brands because said devices can be modified for the reception of illegal Pay-TV services. According to Prensario Internacional, more than 40,000 of these devices have already been modified in the country. This decision applies not only to the sale of decoders in Uruguayan territory but also their distribution with the purpose of selling them abroad.
Although Uruguay is the first Latin American country to adopt such a measure, other countries have already taken steps to leverage piracy. In Argentina, for example, the Chamber of Audiovisual Channel Producers and Programmers presented last Wednesday two TV spots for a new campaign aimed at promoting the national audiovisual industry growth and fighting against piracy and content theft. In fact, the president of the aforementioned chamber, Sergio Veiga, mentioned the utilization of AZBox STBs and confirmed that it is one of the latest piracy modalities in Latin America.
Veiga also shared figures regarding the piracy issue in the region. About USD 1.2 billion are lost in terms of unsold subscriptions of authorized cable and DTH companies; which accounts for USD 500 million in terms of uncollected taxes and more than USD 800 million lost by programmers.
In turn, Chile has also announced an STB “switch-off” of pirate DTHs in the country. Constanza Tellez, DirecTV Corporate Affairs Manager, stated that “more of these devices are going into Chile, as compared with Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay, because in those countries laws are being applied”. And she added: “Here, we have fallen a bit behind”.