• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Hacker Claims to Have Cracked Apple FairPlay DRM

Oct 25, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Apple Computer’s FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology employed on its iTunes Store and its iPod digital media players has been cracked by a 22-year-old hacker who goes by the name of “DVD Jon,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Jon Lech Johansen, a resident of Norway with a history of cracking copy-protection technologies on DVDs, said he was able to circumvent the FairPlay restrictions on MP3 files purchased via Apple’s iTunes Store, and he plans to cash in on his work via his technology firm DoubleTwist Ventures, a company spokesperson told the Mercury News.

Apple currently includes the FairPlay technology with songs purchased on iTunes, as well as with its iPods. Content purchased via iTunes will play only on iPods due to the DRM technology, and some digital files obtained from other locales won’t play on iPods because they include other forms of DRM that aren’t supported by Apple.

If the report is accurate, Johansen’s actions could help iTunes users who want to rid themselves of DRM from their iTunes libraries—but they could also potentially land him in court to face the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm’s attorneys.

Apple did not provide the Mercury News with a comment.

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-Compiled by Al Sacco