Beeb closes iPlayer loophole

Not two minutes after iPlayer for iPhone launched, enterprising hacks had bust it wide open with a simple tinkering of the user agent strings which le

Not two minutes after iPlayer for iPhone launched, enterprising hacks had bust it wide open with a simple tinkering of the user agent strings which let iPlayer know what sort of device it's on.

Because shows for iPhone are broadcast as non-copy protected H.264 streams, the Beeb had made sure that only iPhone and iPod Touch would be able to receive them - except it hadn't done a very good job of making sure.

With a simple bit of manipulation, intrepid geeks were able to use Firefox on any Mac, Windows PC or Linux machine to fool iPlayer into thinking it was a bona fide Jesus phone.

That meant folks could download the content and keep it for as long as they liked - getting round the 30 days self destruct of normal iPlayer downloads.

Now though, the BBC says it's managed to put a stop to all that - and, just to be sure, it's not telling anyone how.

Not that that's stopped the hackers who are busily examining the new system for any flaws. Acknowledging the threat, the Beeb's said that the anti-pirating fight is: "an ongoing, constant process and one which we will continue to monitor." We give it less than a week before the next round begins.

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