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Germany: Broad investigations against customers of illegal pay-TV

Last updated on March 9, 2021

Because of trading in decrypted pay TV , there were searches in five federal states with around 100 emergency services.

Image from a cardsharing case from 2016 (Image: Police Directorate Göttingen)

The Public Prosecutor's Office in Bamberg is also planning preliminary proceedings against the customers of an illegal card sharing network for pay TV. This was announced by the Upper Franconian Police Headquarters and the Attorney General's Office on October 27, 2020 . Before that, almost 100 officials carried out 18 search warrants in Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

Various receivers, PCs, hard drives and other data carriers were secured. The investigators are currently assuming that several hundred customers in Germany and other European countries have been provided with illegal pay-TV access. "There were no arrest warrants in the context of the action," said press spokesman and chief prosecutor Thomas Goger on request.

The trigger was an investigation by the commissioner's office for cybercrime at the Bayreuth Criminal Police Inspection against a 37-year-old and his 35-year-old brother. The brothers are accused of illegally selling decrypted pay-TV licenses for several years.

The public prosecutor's office in Bamberg is now investigating several suspects in five federal states for commercial computer fraud and commercial unauthorized interference in technical protective measures. The total damage that the pay TV providers have suffered so far is considerable and is said to be in the seven-digit euro range.

With hacked satellite receivers to illegal pay TV

With illegal card sharing , a Pay TV decryption card is used for several receivers at the same time. A modified satellite receiver then transmits the decoder key to other likewise modified receivers via the server. The network connection can run over the Internet so that the receivers do not have to be in the same location. The distributing receiver acts as a sender and requires a valid original smart card. All other users receive the decoder key online and simulate the original smart card using software, reports the public prosecutor.

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