Amazon plugs hole in free-movie offerings

Adobe hints it was Amazon's fault for not encrypting its video stream.

Adobe Systems has disputed reports that bugs in its Flash server software let people pirate movies and television shows streamed from Amazon.com's new Video On Demand service. Instead, Adobe hinted that Amazon had not switched on encryption.

Adobe was reacting to a story last Friday by the Reuters news service that claimed Flash Media Server -- the software many Web sites, including Amazon.com, use to deliver video to customers -- was not encrypting all content. The result, said Reuters, was that users could capture streaming video from Amazon's service with software like Applian Technologies's Replay Media Catcher.

"An article published by Reuters on September 19 has incorrectly stated that a security 'flaw' exists in Adobe Flash Media Server software," said Kevin Towes, the Adobe product manager in charge of Flash Media Server, in a post to a company blog Sunday.

Instead, Towes hinted, it was Amazon's fault for not encrypting the video stream using Adobe's Real Time Messaging Protocol Encrypted, or RTMPe.

"To protect content, we recommend customers using Adobe Flash Media Server software utilize RTMPe or RTMPte (tunneled version) combined with SWF verification to provide maximum content protection and also disable RTMP access," said Towes. "Adobe provides these content protection technologies, but it is the choice of the developer, the content owner and the delivery network manager to implement."

Elsewhere in that same entry, Towes noted that Amazon plugged the hole Reuters had found the previous week. "Amazon has enabled the protection mechanisms provided by Adobe software and movies cannot be recorded," he said.

On Tuesday, an Amazon spokesman declined to comment, citing company policy when its security practices are concerned.

More than a month ago, Adobe had warned content providers that they needed to use RTMPe to protect video from capture software, which Adobe called "rippers."

"Some stream capture software providers appear to circumvent RTMPe by using an RTMP connection and spoofing the [URL] used to connect to [Flash Media Server], to appear as if it has made an RTMPe connection," the technical advisory read. "This solution does not break RTMPe, and there are ways to prevent such software from accessing your content."

Adobe also recommended that companies providing video from Flash Media Server use SWF verification to block rippers from grabbing content.

Amazon.com launched its on-demand service earlier this month. The new service, the online retailer's second attempt at competing with Apple's iTunes, offers about 40,000 movies and TV shows for streaming to a Windows or Mac browser, or for downloading to a PC running Windows XP or Vista.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags amazon

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?