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#1 Programming noob

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:02 PM

anyone know anything about cable card hacking? It fits in my laptops expansion bay. the playboy channel would be nice

#2 Venom

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:03 PM

anyone know anything about cable card hacking? It fits in my laptops expansion bay. the playboy channel would be nice


Cable card? You mean a TV card with a Coax input on it?

#3 Programming noob

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:05 PM

Cable card? You mean a TV card with a Coax input on it?


no i mean this: http://arstechnica.c...cablecard.ars/2
they put them in tv's instead of having cable box's, the 55" tv in my bedroom has one.

Edited by Programming noob, 06 November 2006 - 07:06 PM.


#4 Venom

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:08 PM


Cable card? You mean a TV card with a Coax input on it?


no i mean this: http://arstechnica.c...cablecard.ars/2
they put them in tv's instead of having cable box's, the 55" tv in my bedroom has one.


I'll look into it, pretty interesting in-deed. So when you say expansion bay, you mean where CD-Rom's/Floppie drives go, or you mean PCMCIA? I'm assuming you mean PCMCIA. Would that be Type I or Type II?

I don't have the time at the moment, but I'll definately check that out, I bet there's some sort of firmware stuff you can do with it. :)
Expect a post sometime this week.

#5 Programming noob

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:11 PM

thanks, I mean PCMIA type II. I think it might be worth a try, thanks alot venom

#6 xGERMx

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 09:18 PM

just tell girls that you have a 55 inch TV in your bedroom and you won't need Playboy. :voteyes:

#7 xof7

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 07:28 PM

Arent those the same cards that go in tivo's?

#8 fluidicslave

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:10 AM

I looked into this a few years ago and it would be pritie tough,

A cable card operates in 2 modes one of which makes it operate in the same manner as PCMCIA 2 however a cable card has a built in mpeg decoder as well as a a small proceccor inside of it. you would need a very differnt pinout and interface to even atempt to play with a PCMCIA 2 card

#9 Venom

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:58 AM

I looked into this a few years ago and it would be pritie tough,

A cable card operates in 2 modes one of which makes it operate in the same manner as PCMCIA 2 however a cable card has a built in mpeg decoder as well as a a small proceccor inside of it. you would need a very differnt pinout and interface to even atempt to play with a PCMCIA 2 card


No firmware flashing? I'm not talking about about different pinouts... I'm talking about different firmware and/or different drivers. For example, you install C&A on a winbox. It installs an alternate packet driver (WinPCap) that lets it peek at network traffic. I'd imagine it would be possible to do something similar in this situation.

#10 Programming noob

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 09:37 PM

im sure that there si some type of firmware flash that is possible, right now ive been having trouble just getting my computer to recognize the card, it doesn't even pop up as unknown device and when I try to use suse with it, same thing.

#11 Programming noob

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:04 PM

who is the card manufactured by? there may be drivers you can download for it. Try this site www.avsforum.com it helped me when i was looking for drivers for my scientific atlanta cable box. lotso good stuff there. but like i said before a slingbox would be a cool thing for you to try if you want to be able to watch your tv from you laptop anywhere you go.

Thanks for the advice, but I actually allready have a slingbox, and they are cool. What I want to do though is reflash my cable card with some new config files that allow me to decrypt channels that I don't pay for. But I will check out that forum, I decided to buy my camcorder from the reviews of it there.

#12 fluidicslave

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 01:11 PM


I looked into this a few years ago and it would be pritie tough,

A cable card operates in 2 modes one of which makes it operate in the same manner as PCMCIA 2 however a cable card has a built in mpeg decoder as well as a a small proceccor inside of it. you would need a very differnt pinout and interface to even atempt to play with a PCMCIA 2 card


No firmware flashing? I'm not talking about about different pinouts... I'm talking about different firmware and/or different drivers. For example, you install C&A on a winbox. It installs an alternate packet driver (WinPCap) that lets it peek at network traffic. I'd imagine it would be possible to do something similar in this situation.



no this kinda of thing is not possible becuse the way your cable card is wired does nto allow for you to munipulate with a pcmcia slot

#13 Programming noob

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 05:20 PM

yes i also checked with my friend from timewarner and he says that the card is not pcmcia compatible but this is interesting and im having him find out more about how the cards work for me, so hopefully we can get some answers. if they fit into your tv slot then there must be some type of card reader/writer availible for them.


I am very good with a soldering iron....and have a few extra parts to playwith

#14 stop_cableco_gouging

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:01 PM

hello, is anyone still looking into the feasibility of re-programming cablecards? I'd sure like to enlist those that are capable to take another look into this. i'm not a tech so i can't...

i do hate the fact that cableco's are gouging the public and have done everything possible to thwart CableCARD use and adoption. and, as i understand, most all cableco's cripple the PSIP data so that your new QAM capable TV can't even tell you what channel you're watching, you need a cableco STB just to be able tell what channel you're on.

i'm not much for PPV or other premium channels, give me the standard lineup and the locals in HD, and i'm happy.

i do like my tivo but tivo can't tell what QAM channel you're on either, because the PSIP data is corrupt, and for whatever reason, tivo decided to hitch the tivo program guide to a cablecard. so, if you don't have a cablecard (and PSIP is crippled), you don't get channel guide for any clearQAM (local HD) channels on your tivo.

calbeco's where forced to provide cablecards but you typically can't get a cablecard just for the local (clearQAM) HD channels, cableco's extort additional service level or "premium" (spelled $$$) add-on before they permitted you to have a cablecard.

and now, cableco's have a new anti-cablecard weapon: namely, SDV. so, even if cableco lets you have a cablecard, SDV basically renders your cablecard useless for any premium level of service.

however, cablecards are very useful, assuming all you wants is the standard unencrypted channel lineup and local HD clearQAM channels. and, if cableco's would let customers have a cablecard for a few bucks for those that just want the basic tier, this would probably be a mute point.

i have read where someone got a cablecard on ebay, plugged it into a tivo and nojoy. i don't know if the card was defective or something else was wrong. i have also read that cablecards need to be "initialized" to the particular cablco's front-end or head-end or whatever. if it's true that a cablecard must be "initialized" to a particular cableco's system, then getting a card off ebay is pointless.

so the questions is: can a cablecard be re-programmed into a state where it would basically recognize and pass-through any channels the are in the clear and do not require a authorization/pairing or decryption key?

i did search a bit using google, but couldn't find the answer i was looking for. i did stumble across a couple things that might (hopefully) be useful to some of you guys/gals:

http://www.cetoncorp...120Brochure.pdf

http://www.opencable...-I07-060803.pdf

i don't know the level technical challenges or if anything meaning full or usable can be devised or implemented. i do see that slysoft (AnyDVD) keeps managing to "crack" all the "un-crackble" dvd formats. if he can do it, i'm sure some of you guys can figure this out. :)

can i implore you all to take up the challenge against the evil cableco's?

#15 Ohm

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:51 PM

You can afford a 55" television and you want to steal cable?

#16 stop_cableco_gouging

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 02:19 AM

You can afford a 55" television and you want to steal cable?


where did that come from???

i don't want to steal anything!

perhaps you can point out where in my post you think that i was asking to or wanting to "steal cable."

are you sure you read the entire post, it is a bit long.

and, if you must know, i don't have a 55" TV, i have a 60" but it is the cheep rear projection type i got on special.

#17 Clay584

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:06 AM

I work for a major cable company/ISP and I know a bit about these cards because we have them deployed in the field. It is theoretically possible to hack the cards. You would have to hack the card to be able to read/write to the card. Then you would have to get the configuration file that you want (ie - all channels). But to do that you would have to legit order the services so your card would download the correct config file. Then it may be possible to downgrade your services again, and then hit your card with the full config file. That being said, don't know if this has been done. The only problem with all of this is in order for your cable card to work it has to be assigned to an account with services. All of this equipment is addressable and therefore tracable back to your account.

On a side note, the first 100 or so channels for most cable companys are analog channels and it is not hard to hack these because they are just broadcasted out. Any interactive features (guide) or premium channels are digital and require two-way communication which requires an addressable peice of equipment which is registered to an account.

I know our system runs audits on this kind of stuff, so be careful.

#18 stop_cableco_gouging

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 08:47 PM

I work for a major cable company/ISP...


Clay584, thanks for your reply and input.

First, and foremost, I'd like to say to everyone that my intent is not and never was to "steal" any cable service.

I detest cableco's business practice and the way they treat customers! All the while they enjoy enormous profits with a monopoly license from our government. Cableco's have no sense of "fair play" or moral conscience towards customers. If they did, they would not manipulate PSIP data (as one example) so that you "must" have a cableco STB just to "know" what channel you're watching. The way cableco's manipulate service; manipulate data streams; manipulate service "tiers" so that they can squeeze every penny from a customer is (in my humble opinion) criminal.

The CableCARD is something that is/was a "good thing" for a cable customer but a very bad thing for the cable industry's enormous profit engine. With a CableCARD, you can't order PPV ($$$); you can't order On-Demand ($$$); no "let's watch this game" tonight ($$$); no "let's watch this special or this movie" tonight ($$$); there's NO spur of the moment, impulsive buying of anything extra = $$$$$.

If I'm paying for basic or extended cable (service level tiers that are typically void of any and all "premium" channels), I don't want to be told that I must have a cableco STB just so I know what channel I'm watching, even if that STB is "free!" If the FCC reg's say that cableco "must" provide all the local HD channels unencrypted ("in-the-clear") and make all those local HD clearQAM channels available to even the lowest (most basic) level of service, then, I don't think that the cableco should come along and tell me that I must subscribe to a "HD package" service at an extra cost just to get (free) local HD; or tell me that I must have a cableSTB to get those "local HD" channels; or tell me that I need a cableSTB because my QAM TV can't tell what channel I'm on because the PSIP data has been deliberately and intentionally malformed or corrupted.

I hope that the above "ranting" will explain my sense of corporate injustice and why I (along with many others) would like to own my own CableCARD for basic cable (unencrypted, non-premium) service. I haven't come across anything that says that it's illegal to own a CableCARD. And, as long as the CableCARD is not circumventing encrypted service or somehow passing on encrypted or "premium" channel(s), it's "basic" functionality is (probably, I'm guessing) legal.

If I understand Clay584's correctly, a card does indeed need to be "initialized" by the cableco where the card will be used. This would explain why buying a card off ebay will not work and the guy that tried that (at the TiVo community website) failed. It would also explain (again, reading at the TiVo community website) why taking a card out of an "authorized" box and putting it into a "non-athorized" box did work; the card was already "initialized" on that system.

The notion of "cloning" a "authorized/working" card may be variable, but the obvious disadvantage is that one would need a working card from the same "system" as the target card is intended for. Even if the "working" card is authorized for "premium" service, the "clone" would not be capable of "stealing" premium service channels since the "cloned" card would never get "paired" at the cableco head-end. If I understand correctly, a cablecard gets some "magic" keys that enables the card to de-crypt a stream and then the card actually re-enclyps that same stream before passing the channel out. To get those de-crypt "keys" the card must be paired and authorized by the cableco head-end; and to do that, you need the cableco at the other end of the phone. Since the cableco encrypts all premium channels, a "cloned" or "re-programmed" cablecard will only work for standard, basic, non-premium channels. And, if I understand FCC correctly, cableco is not allowed to encrypt any local channels that are "free" over the air including local HD channels.

Programming a card so that it's able to receive the cableco channel list and EPG guide (if that's the proper nomenclature, and all that is actually required), without nocking on the door, would be the more elegant, and the more global solution. And, again, the card would be incapable of "stealing" premium service since it would not have any of the de-cryption keys.

I think there are a number of people (especially TiVo users) that would find this a very welcome option. I'm not a lawyer; but as far as I can tell, non of this would be illegal. I'd appreciate any feedback if someone that knows any different.

If a "global" setting can be found, I'd be happy to buy (assuming I can afford) a PCMCIA reader/writer and offer the service to anyone interested. If any of you are inclined to look into this, may I suggest not wasting time on S-cards. As with most new technology, the second generation (M-cards) work better.

Thank you all for your time.

#19 J.Ripper

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:07 AM

AHH!!!! I just had a thought and i'm not sure if its been covered or not but you all know that spint and cingular (at&what the hell ever) both use those wireless card that provide internet via cdma network, if i bought one of the card, is there a way to hack it to work free of charge or could you possible clone someone else's card and or perhaps it works on a user name and password. any way im curious, let me know.

#20 eltutu

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 10:04 AM

I work for a major cable company/ISP...


Clay584, thanks for your reply and input.

First, and foremost, I'd like to say to everyone that my intent is not and never was to "steal" any cable service.

I detest cableco's business practice and the way they treat customers! All the while they enjoy enormous profits with a monopoly license from our government. Cableco's have no sense of "fair play" or moral conscience towards customers. If they did, they would not manipulate PSIP data (as one example) so that you "must" have a cableco STB just to "know" what channel you're watching. The way cableco's manipulate service; manipulate data streams; manipulate service "tiers" so that they can squeeze every penny from a customer is (in my humble opinion) criminal.

The CableCARD is something that is/was a "good thing" for a cable customer but a very bad thing for the cable industry's enormous profit engine. With a CableCARD, you can't order PPV ($$$); you can't order On-Demand ($$$); no "let's watch this game" tonight ($$$); no "let's watch this special or this movie" tonight ($$$); there's NO spur of the moment, impulsive buying of anything extra = $$$$$.

If I'm paying for basic or extended cable (service level tiers that are typically void of any and all "premium" channels), I don't want to be told that I must have a cableco STB just so I know what channel I'm watching, even if that STB is "free!" If the FCC reg's say that cableco "must" provide all the local HD channels unencrypted ("in-the-clear") and make all those local HD clearQAM channels available to even the lowest (most basic) level of service, then, I don't think that the cableco should come along and tell me that I must subscribe to a "HD package" service at an extra cost just to get (free) local HD; or tell me that I must have a cableSTB to get those "local HD" channels; or tell me that I need a cableSTB because my QAM TV can't tell what channel I'm on because the PSIP data has been deliberately and intentionally malformed or corrupted.

I hope that the above "ranting" will explain my sense of corporate injustice and why I (along with many others) would like to own my own CableCARD for basic cable (unencrypted, non-premium) service. I haven't come across anything that says that it's illegal to own a CableCARD. And, as long as the CableCARD is not circumventing encrypted service or somehow passing on encrypted or "premium" channel(s), it's "basic" functionality is (probably, I'm guessing) legal.

If I understand Clay584's correctly, a card does indeed need to be "initialized" by the cableco where the card will be used. This would explain why buying a card off ebay will not work and the guy that tried that (at the TiVo community website) failed. It would also explain (again, reading at the TiVo community website) why taking a card out of an "authorized" box and putting it into a "non-athorized" box did work; the card was already "initialized" on that system.

The notion of "cloning" a "authorized/working" card may be variable, but the obvious disadvantage is that one would need a working card from the same "system" as the target card is intended for. Even if the "working" card is authorized for "premium" service, the "clone" would not be capable of "stealing" premium service channels since the "cloned" card would never get "paired" at the cableco head-end. If I understand correctly, a cablecard gets some "magic" keys that enables the card to de-crypt a stream and then the card actually re-enclyps that same stream before passing the channel out. To get those de-crypt "keys" the card must be paired and authorized by the cableco head-end; and to do that, you need the cableco at the other end of the phone. Since the cableco encrypts all premium channels, a "cloned" or "re-programmed" cablecard will only work for standard, basic, non-premium channels. And, if I understand FCC correctly, cableco is not allowed to encrypt any local channels that are "free" over the air including local HD channels.

Programming a card so that it's able to receive the cableco channel list and EPG guide (if that's the proper nomenclature, and all that is actually required), without nocking on the door, would be the more elegant, and the more global solution. And, again, the card would be incapable of "stealing" premium service since it would not have any of the de-cryption keys.

I think there are a number of people (especially TiVo users) that would find this a very welcome option. I'm not a lawyer; but as far as I can tell, non of this would be illegal. I'd appreciate any feedback if someone that knows any different.

If a "global" setting can be found, I'd be happy to buy (assuming I can afford) a PCMCIA reader/writer and offer the service to anyone interested. If any of you are inclined to look into this, may I suggest not wasting time on S-cards. As with most new technology, the second generation (M-cards) work better.

Thank you all for your time.



Hi, I'm new to this forum..First of all, want to thanks all of you for this valuable info..special to you 'stop_cableco_gouging' , great research. In fact, I live in Panama, Republic of Panama, I bought a Tivo HD, because I was tired of the high cost of the cable company in my area. So, I pay a basic plan and can still watch the clear QAM HD channels without the need of rent the cable box of my local cable company. I saw this cablecard multi-stream in EBAY (pmk800) from scientific atlanta, I decided to give it a try. Nothing to loose, just a couple of $$....Definetly it did not work, because as someone else said, it need to be intialized...I guest, there is no way I can get this card to work. I did the same, inserted the card into my laptop pcmcia slots, but nothing happens. Don't know what else to do !...

Thanks...




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