Spain cracks down on pay TV hackers
October 17, 2007
From David Del Valle in Madrid
The Spanish police has disbanded a network of pay-TV hackers by arresting 27 people across the country who would have defrauded the pay-TV companies of E10 million. Amonsgt the detainees there are 10 distributors of keys and codes through the Internet, nine sellers of manipulated set-top-boxes and eight responsible for local TV channels.
The pirates used three methods: First, the sale through the Internet of manipulated set-top-boxes that allowed illegal access to the pay-TV offer. The second method was the sale of keys and codes to decrypt the signal via web pages which, in some cases, registered more than 10 million visits in less than 5 months. Some web pages provided the keys and codes via SMS. Some other pages allowed the downloading of programs to have access through the Internet to International TV channels, mainly from China, that broadcast football events only available on pay-per-view in Spain.
The third method was implemented by some local TV stations which became cable TV networks to re-broadcast the pay-TV signal to its viewers without a legal licence or authorisation.