[LWN Logo]

 Main page
 Linux in the news
 Linux History
All in one big page

See also: last week's Letters page.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be sent to letters@lwn.net. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.

February 8, 2001

From: Mike Traffanstead <traff@roadrash.org>
To: "'lwn@lwn.net'" <lwn@lwn.net>
Subject: DirectTV and "Black Sunday"
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 14:20:11 -0600 

In your article you state that DirecTV programmed the receivers to destroy
themselves.  This not quite the case.  DirecTV programmed the access cards
to go into an infinite loop, thereby denying access to ill-gotten services.
The cards can easily be replaced by setting up a proper account with DirecTV
and no damage is done to the actual receiver.  

The best analogy I can think of is if someone "acquired" an account on the
lwn server and you went through and removed it.  You didn't actually damage
anything, you just correct something that should not have been in the first

Mike Traffanstead
(No relation to DirecTV)
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2001 22:09:03 -0700
To: lwn@lwn.net
From: Maurice Hilarius <maurice@harddata.com>
Subject: DirecTV war

Hi Liz and friends.

Like many Canadians I am a "pirate Satellite Dish" enthusiast.  Why?
Because it is free? not really.  Because our fine government up here
imposes Canadian content, so to see the programming from the US we
have to go this way.

Anyway, back on topic: "Black Sunday" was not that big a deal. really.
Why?  They managed to destroy the boot portion of the ROM code on the
programming cards.  Already we have new interfaces that take the
programming cards, and have programmable logic on them.  Now we can
hack the signal even better, and we can now "firewall" our hardware
from their signal feed.  So, onwards up upwards, better equipped than
ever.  A buddy in the satellite wars builds the card wedges, and has
sold or taken orders for over 8,000 in the last month already.  On top
of that quite a few people have abandoned the program card route
entirely now, and are using pure emulators for their
interface/translators.  An old PC, some code and 2 serial ports, and
that is it!  So, as you can see, the game is not over. As a matter of
fact it is just getting going..

With our best regards,

Maurice W. Hilarius       Telephone: 01-780-456-9771
Hard Data Ltd.            FAX:       01-780-456-9772
11060 - 166 Avenue        mailto:maurice@harddata.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada      http://www.harddata.com/
    T5X 1Y3

Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001 16:43:36 +0100
From: Laurent Szyster <l.szyster@ibm.net>
To: letters@lwn.net
Subject: BIND vulnerablility

> Bind vulnerabilities have, in the past, been widely
> exploited. It would be nice if it were different this
> time. The information and the updates are all available;
> the exploits do not yet exist. People who move quickly
> need not worry about this problem. 

People who replaced BIND by djbdns don't have to worry
at all about BIND's apparently infinite number or
buffer overflow ;-)



Laurent Szyster


Eklektix, Inc. Linux powered! Copyright © 2001 Eklektix, Inc., all rights reserved
Linux ® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds