Securing Bulk Content Almost for Free

Mei Chin Cheng

Jeffrey Considine

Alex Yeung

ACeS & WING Labs


Content providers often consider the costs of security to be greater than the losses they might incur without it; many view "casual piracy" as their main concern. Our goal is to provide a low cost defense against such attacks while maintaining rigorous security guarantees.

Our defense is integrated with and leverages fast forward error correcting codes, such as Tornado codes, which are widely used to facilitate reliable delivery of rich content.
We tune the codes - while preserving their original desirable properties - to guarantee that none of the original content can be recovered whenever a key subset of codewords is missing. Ultimately we encrypt only these key codewords (only 4% of all transmissions) making the security overhead negligible.

Paper available in Postcript or gzipped Postscript formats

Last modified on 10/24/2001