Synamedia Unveils OTT ServiceGuard To Protect Against NextGen OTT Piracy

The new Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard is designed to protect users against OTT piracy. (Image credit: Synamedia)

LONDON—Synamedia today launched Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard, an anti-piracy solution for over-the-top services designed to protect them from an inherent weakness pirates can exploit to trick the service’s content delivery network (CDN) into giving out protected content.

“With the transition of the market into OTT, pirates have shifted their paradigm of stealing content as well as stealing service… and they’ve managed to find ways of doing it very effectively,” said Nitsan Baider, director of product management for security solutions at Synamedia, during an exclusive interview this week with TVTech.

Pirates have identified a way to steal content at the highest level of quality and also take whatever subtitles and audio tracks they desire without being detected, They can do this quickly and without the effort they previously had to expend, he said.

By using pirate scripts, they are able to connect to an OTT service, trick it into giving out the content, thereby doing away with the extensive steps they’ve previously taken to swipe content, he said.

“All that’s needed is a set of credentials, which are super easy and cheap to obtain, and you’re good to go,” he said.

These pirate scripts work because the OTT protocol is broken, he explained. “[E]veryone is focused on protecting the content and digital rights management. But DRM is not the issue,” he said.

The problem centers on the communications between OTT clients and services. Pirate scripts breach this communication and impersonate a client, said Baider.

This makes it easy for pirates to access content, enabling them to exploit vulnerabilities in the DRM, get to the control plane of the service provider, take whatever DRM licenses are needed and then, going to the CDN, obtain desired content and peel away the DRM, thereby completing the heist, he explained.

Another method is for pirates to reroute content from the service provider to their pirate clients. In this instance, a pirate server hacks the protocol and redirects those clients directly to the service provider’s CDN. In such a circumstance, a CDN may be servicing hundreds or even thousands of pirate clients on a single account and be completely unaware of what is happening, said Baider. 

Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard protects content across all platforms, including mobile, browsers and smart TVs, and extends service protection to the CDN itself, thereby stopping pirates from stealing content at the point of distribution, the company said.

The new solution gives each client a unique identity that cannot be cloned and allocates secure keys for signing service requests. This ensures all client messages are validated for authenticity and origin, it said. 

Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard is the latest layer of security in the company’s EverGuard portfolio. It is offered as a service and quick to deploy, the company said.

The offering supports all client devices and is easily integrated with existing OTT infrastructure without affecting user experience or existing application-service communications, the company said.

More information is available on the company's website

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.