The operation began in December 2011, when a piracy operation purporting to be a refrigerator sales and repair company was discovered to be extracting “control words” from MultiChoice Africa smart cards and then distributing them to consumers that had bought a pirate circumvention devices, such as Magicbox, Avatar, Hawk, Microbox and Eagle.
Control Word Sharing piracy takes place when a pirate steals and retransmits a regularly changing control word that is passed between a smart card and a set-top-box.
The illegal operation was thought to be distributing illegal control words and selling Magicbox pirate circumvention devices to subscribers in Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. During the raid, the police found and confiscated Magicbox pirate circumvention devices (1800 units), computers, a laptop computer, a smart card reader, MultiChoice Africa smartcards and a large amount of money.
Commenting on the raid, Frikkie Jonker, Senior Africa Piracy manager for MultiChoice Africa, said, “With the support of the Irdeto Anti-Piracy and Forensics Unit and the Botswana Police, the raid was very successful and sent a firm message that this kind of criminal activity will not be tolerated and that strong action will be taken against those who illegally abuse MultiChoice Africa content.”
Irdeto’s senior director of the Irdeto Anti-Piracy & Forensics Unit who has maintained anonymity, said, “As long as there are consumers who are prepared to pay for illegal content, pirates will continue to try to hack encryption systems and turn a profit. One very effective way of addressing this form of piracy is to use technology to disrupt the pirate offering, thereby upsetting the pirate viewer and destroying the pirate credibility. Together with MultiChoice Africa, we will relentlessly fight these illegal businesses on the African continent, using technology and the law to its fullest extent.”
Irdeto says it continues to work with customers around the world to help combat piracy and to bring down the organizations and individuals involved in the illegal distribution of pay TV content.