Broadcom Adds Anti-Hacking Tech to Set-Top Chips

Broadcom has incorporated Cryptography Research’s differential power analysis antipiracy technology across its line of set-top box system-on-chip products to make it harder to steal premium pay TV programming.

Differential power analysis (DPA) attacks extract encryption keys in a set-top or other device by analyzing measurements in the power consumption of a target device. Cryptography Research’s DPA countermeasures are designed to prevent such hacks.

Broadcom is the first set-top box SoC manufacturer to deliver the DPA countermeasure technology, according to Cryptography Research president and chief scientist Paul Kocher. Broadcom’s “emphasis and leadership in security is a big win for broadcasters and consumers, and will play a key role in protecting pay-TV ecosystems and bringing high-quality premium content to any screen in the home,” Kocher said in a statement.

The DPA countermeasure technology is available now across all of Broadcom’s IP, satellite and cable set-top box platforms, including the BCM7231 set-top box system-on-chip.

Cryptography Research, a division of Rambus, owns a portfolio of more than 60 patents covering countermeasures to DPA attacks with additional patent applications pending worldwide. The San Francisco-based company claims more than 6 billion security devices that include its technology are made annually.