Verimatrix outlines ‘next step’ in set-top security

Hardware security cores in set-top box (STB) chipsets represent the “next step in STB content protection,” according to a new white paper by content security specialist Verimatrix and Cryptography Research Inc.

The study claims that as the volume of STBs shipments continues to increase, hacking STBs remains a primary activity for pirates, and says that strong content protection mechanisms may be rendered ineffective if the STB chip has weaknesses.

“All security sensitive functions of the STB chipsets need to be concentrated in a nucleus that is very hard to tamper with – the hardware security core,” according to the ‘Integrated Software and Hardware Security’ white paper.

Combining mainstream conditional access and digital rights management systems in an end-to-end deployment offers operators a robust and efficient tool to thwart piracy while supporting content monetisation and revenue security, Verimatrix added.

“While the last 25 years have provided advances in content protection technology, many consider the necessary next step to be hardware and software integrated security cores, particularly for today’s advanced hybrid STBs,” said Petr Peterka, CTO, Verimatrix.

Ben Jun, CTO, Cryptography Research, added: “The hardware security core approach brings significant security and architectural advantages; however, it needs to be combined with software capabilities to provide a robust, end-to-end system. Integrating the most advanced security hardware available with today’s SoC designs offers operators and broadcasters a flexible, yet robust solution for future-proofing revenue security.”

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