Merry Xmas, I’ve Just Hacked Your Kindle!

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And all it took was just eight days and a challenge on an Internet forum for two hackers to do just that. I wonder what’s next. Are we likely to witness the rise of mainstream hacking contests, perhaps a “Hack Idol” type reality show hosted by characters like DVD Jon? The target, Amazon’s proprietary DRM […]

And all it took was just eight days and a challenge on an Internet forum for two hackers to do just that. I wonder what’s next. Are we likely to witness the rise of mainstream hacking contests, perhaps a “Hack Idol” type reality show hosted by characters like DVD Jon?
The target, Amazon’s proprietary DRM protection for the Kindle device, effectively prevents users from accessing their ebooks on other devices. Therefore the motivation for this hack may have arguably come from a desire to enable interoperability and access to Kindle content on competing devices, (which perhaps understandably runs against the wishes of the device maker). According to this post on The Register, this just shows “the futility of digital rights management schemes” as something that doesn’t succeed in preventing unauthorized copying, and only inconveniences paying customers.
In any case, the key point is the apparent ease with which this contest harnessed the collective power of individual effort to achieve and deliver results in a relatively short space of time. It seems we have just witnessed another blow to DRM based content protection, and this time in another industry outside of the traditional music or film business targets. The common theme, as ever, is protected digitized content; which leads one to the obvious conclusion that just as technology giveth, so doth it taketh away, (or some such line).
Have a Happy Festive Season, and no more hacking please.

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