Dirk-B Coetzee (MScEng-I).

A Product Entitlement System for Pay-TV in Modern Attack Scenarios

The cornerstone of any pay-TV network is product entitlement – the ability to allow only a certain subset of their viewers to access certain broadcasts. In recent years these subsets have become more dynamic and it is possible that the subset can change as frequently as every two hours on certain pay per view movie channels.

In a pay-TV network the amount of bandwidth available to transfer entitlement messages to a viewer’s device is severely constrained. For this reason an efficient product entitlement scheme has to be used. But this scheme also needs to be secure so that dishonest viewers cannot access broadcasts they are not entitled to. In recent years the attacks on pay-TV networks have escalated to such a degree that once thought secure methods, such as smart cards, are not able to prevent dishonest viewers from accessing content. Thus the need exists to create secure product entitlement systems without the use of secure hardware. This is also compounded by the fact that many pay-TV networks are moving into the mobile market where the use of secure hardware might not be possible.

I will be working with Irdeto to develop an efficient key management system for use in modern pay-TV networks.

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My contact details: dirkb (at) ml.sun.ac.za