Flawed Adobe software allows free movie downloads
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Flawed Adobe software allows free movie downloads

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 29 September 2008, 11:39 Hrs
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New York: One of the Adobe systems softwares has inadvertently become a facilitator of piracy. A security flaw in Adobe's software, used to distribute movies and TV shows over the Internet, is giving users free access to record and copy from Amazon.com's video streaming service. The problem reportedly facilitates piracy of online video content.

"It's a fundamental flaw in the Adobe design. This was designed stupidly," said Bruce Schneier, a security expert who is also the chief security technology officer at British Telecom. The flaw rests in Adobe's Flash video servers that are connected to the company's players installed in nearly all of the world's Web-connected computers. The software doesn't encrypt online content, but only orders sent to a video player such as start and stop play. To boost download speeds, Adobe dropped a stringent security feature that protects the connection between the Adobe software and its players.

However, Adobe has to say this: "The company is committed to the security of all of our products, from our players to our server software. Adobe invests a considerable amount of ongoing effort to help protect users from potential vulnerabilities."

Adobe said it issued a security bulletin earlier this month about how best to protect online content and called on its customers to couple its software security with a feature that verifies the validity of its video player. An Amazon spokesman said content on the company's Video On Demand service, which offers as many as 40,000 movies and TV shows on its Web site, cannot be pirated using video stream catching software.

Applian CEO Bill Dettering said, "One of the downfalls with how engineers have architected the software is that people can capture the streams. I fully expect them to do something more robust in the near future."

The free demo version of Replay Media Catcher allows anyone to watch 75 percent of anything recorded and 100 percent of YouTube videos. For $39, a user can watch everything recorded. One Web site explains step-by-step how to use the video stream catching software.

Amazon.com's Adobe-powered Video On Demand service allows viewers to watch the first two minutes of a movie or TV show for free. It charges up to $3.99 to rent a movie for 24 hours and up to $14.99 to download a movie permanently.

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