Anti-piracy collaboration uncovers Egyptian cybercrime syndicate operating a control word sharing pirate network and selling pirate decoder boxes
AMSTERDAM – 05 July 2017 – Irdeto, the world leader in digital platform security, and MultiChoice Africa Limited (MAL), a provider of video entertainment services in Africa, today announced that three content pirates have been sentenced in Cairo, Egypt. The sentencing follows multiple piracy raids which uncovered a large cybercrime syndicate illegally offering premium content services. The three defendants were found guilty on all criminal charges and were each sentenced to a two-year jail term and a fine of 75,000 EGP ($4,100 USD).
The syndicate offered control word sharing equipment and illegal pirate subscriptions for sale, allowing 163,802 pirate viewers unauthorized access to content from a number of international broadcasters. The ruling follows extensive collaboration between Egyptian Cybercrime Police, MAL and Irdeto and marks the culmination of one of the largest investigations into an extensive control word sharing piracy network.
“Engaging in any form of piracy comes with consequences, and this ruling clearly indicates that piracy will not be tolerated,” said Frikkie Jonker, General Manager, Africa Piracy Department, MultiChoice Africa. “These convictions are critical to sending a message to the pirate community that piracy is a serious offense that damages the media and entertainment industry. Our collaboration with Irdeto and the unbelievable support of the Egyptian Enforcement Authorities, without whom this would not have been possible, demonstrates the importance of working together to combat the growing problem of piracy.”
The initial investigations into suspects began through a partnership between MAL and Irdeto, before a joint criminal investigation referral was made to the Egypt Ministry of Internal Affairs. Raids were conducted that uncovered several electronic components, servers, almost 40 smartcards from multiple conditional access providers, several pirate decoders, smartcard readers and other related equipment typically used within a pirate control word sharing operation. Cash of over $220,000 USD was also seized during the raids. Further investigation uncovered over 5,000 advertisements for pirate devices on Alibaba B2B platforms.
“These convictions are a testament to the seriousness of the piracy offense and the commitment of law enforcement worldwide to crack down on these cybercrime networks,” said Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto. “Our partnership with MultiChoice Africa epitomizes our commitment to content owners, rights holders and operators to combat smartcard sharing and other forms of piracy. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement around the globe to shut down criminal pirate networks and ensure that justice is served.”
About MultiChoice Africa Limited
MultiChoice Africa Limited (“MultiChoice Africa”) is the leading video entertainment service provider in sub-Saharan Africa, having launched the first digital satellite service in the 1980s. MultiChoice Africa provides multi-channel, multi-platform digital video entertainment services containing channels from Africa, America, China, India, Asia and Europe. The company has over twenty years’ experience as a video entertainment provider in Africa, offering cutting-edge digital technology to provide premium video content for subscribers in 49 Sub-Saharan African countries and its adjacent Indian Ocean islands. MultiChoice Africa provides its digital satellite television service – DStv – to subscribers’ homes from two different satellites, namely: the Intelsat 20 (“IS 20”) Ku BAND and Eutelsat 36B (used to be called W7) Ku Band. For more about MultiChoice Africa, please visit www.dstv.com.
Irdeto. Building a Secure Future.™
Irdeto is the world leader in digital platform security, protecting platforms and applications for media & entertainment, gaming, connected transport and IoT connected industries. Our solutions and services enable customers to protect their revenue, create new offerings and fight cybercrime. With nearly 50 years of expertise in security, Irdeto’s software security technology and cyber services protect over 5 billion devices and applications for some of the world’s best-known brands. Our unique heritage as a subsidiary of multinational media group Naspers (JSE: NPN) means that we are a well-established and reliable partner to help build a more secure future. Please visit Irdeto at www.irdeto.com.
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PR Manager, EMEA, Irdeto
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