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already people are trying to figure out ways of re-enabling the “damaged” cards. i read one post that suggested that a canadian hacker was caught and charged for his participation in the hacking.
back in the old days, i used to know people who would use cable descramblers, and it was great fun for them to receive 50 pay per view channels in boston completely descrambled.
but requires changing the key codes manually via the built-in keypad (the vendor e-mails or smss the codes to you right when they change). directv (and the others) are just buying a bit of time… – by godetcetera: the radio and tv communications act (i think that's what it's called) of 1991 (1990? ) made it so it is illegal to descramble any signals received into your yard simply because it's your property.
– by nuggetmandirect tv through its official policy does not make its programming availiable to some of the countries in its proximity like the caribbean.
the final piece of code that assembled the other updates placed the phrase “game over” in the first 8 bytes of the hacked cards, and supposedly caused permanent damage to the cards.
however, while the battle may be won, the war is certainly not over. the article submitted to slashdot is a really good read, and it sounds like directtv put over a masterful hack on the hackers (or crackers, depending on your personal view on theft of service) that challenged its model of actually requiring payment for reception of unscrambled signals.