Securing Digital Content – Strengths And Weaknesses Of Software And Hardware Implementations (2005)

By Robin Wilson

Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) are implemented in a number of ways in software (SW) and hardware (HW). Often these schemes are described as either “HW” or “SW” based security or rights management systems. Since SW requires HW on which to execute, and HW has necessarily SW running on it, the terminology is often thoroughly confusing and misleading. Since we are not dealing with locks and keys or hypothetical systems, both hardware and software elements must be present, and work together smoothly, in any sophisticated content security system. Further confounding the confusion is the frequent use (and abuse) of terms like “replaceable”, “renewable”, “obfuscated” and “tamperproof”. In this session, these terms will be explained in the context of content security.

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