Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Norwegian Hacker Cracks Google Software

Filed under
Software

The Norwegian who became a hacker hero for developing software to unlock copy-protection codes on DVD movies said he needed only one day to crack Google Inc.'s new video viewer.

Jon Lech Johansen, also known as DVD Jon, posted software on his "So Sue Me" Web site that he says modifies the viewer so that it plays videos hosted on any server. The company's Google Video Viewer, in turn, was modified from the free VLC media player to restrict it to playing video hosted on Google's own servers.

Google officials did not immediately return e-mail and phone messages left early Wednesday at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
Johansen, 21, became a hero to hackers at age 15, when he posted software called to unlock the Content Scrambling System, or CSS, the film industry used on DVD movies to prevent illegal copying. The act made Johansen a folk hero among hackers.

After the film industry complained, Norwegian authorities charged him with data break-in, but Johansen was acquitted at trial and on appeal.

Johansen, an advocate of the open-source philosophy of making software code freely available for inspection and sharing, has also repeatedly posted programs that circumvent the copy-protection technologies on Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes software.

Google's shares have more than tripled to more than $300 in the 10 months since their debut. Most of the company's income is from online advertising, although it could boost revenues by charging for some videos in the future.
The company has been stockpiling amateur and professional videos since April, when it asked users to submit their images, and the new viewer allows them to sample the collection for free.

The Google Video Viewer, consisting of about 1 megabyte and still officially in a "beta" test phase, was designed to do nothing but stream Google's videos through the Internet Explorer or Firefox Web browsers. Its limited scope meant it wouldn't be competing with the popular multimedia players made by Microsoft Corp. and RealNetworks Inc.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Programming

Security News

  • Security advisories for Thursday
  • Please save GMane!
  • The End of Gmane?
    In 2002, I grew annoyed with not finding the obscure technical information I was looking for, so I started Gmane, the mailing list archive. All technical discussion took place on mailing lists those days, and archiving those were, at best, spotty and with horrible web interfaces. The past few weeks, the Gmane machines (and more importantly, the company I work for, who are graciously hosting the servers) have been the target of a number of distributed denial of service attacks. Our upstream have been good about helping us filter out the DDoS traffic, but it’s meant serious downtime where we’ve been completely off the Internet.
  • Pwnie Express makes IoT, Android security arsenal open source
    Pwnie Express has given the keys to software used to secure the Internet of Things (IoT) and Android software to the open-source community. The Internet of Things (IoT), the emergence of devices ranging from lighting to fridges and embedded systems which are connected to the web, has paved an avenue for cyberattackers to exploit.
  • The Software Supply Chain Is Bedeviled by Bad Open-Source Code [Ed: again, trace this back to FUD firms like Sonatype in this case]
    Open-source components play a key role in the software supply chain. By reducing the amount of code that development organizations need to write, open source enables companies to deliver software more efficiently — but not without significant risks, including defective and outdated components and security vulnerabilities.
  • Securing a Virtual World [Ed: paywall, undated (no year but reposted)]
  • Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies
    In a blog post, Jeff Vander Stoep of the mobile operating system's security team said that in the next build of the OS, named Nougat, Google is going to be addressing two key areas of the Linux kernel that reside at the heart of most of the world's smartphones: memory protection and reducing areas available for attack by hackers.

today's howtos

Chew on this: Ubuntu Core Linux comes to the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board

Linux and other open source software have been in the news quite a bit lately. As more and more people are seeing, closed source is not the only way to make money. A company like Red Hat, for instance, is able to be profitable while focusing its business on open source. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems, and it is not hard to see why. Not only is it easy to use and adaptable to much hardware (such as SoC boards), but there is a ton of free support online from the Ubuntu user community too. Today, Canonical announces a special Ubuntu Core image for the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board. Read more