DVD Jon hacks Microsoft Windows Media Player file encryption

“Norway’s best known IT export, DVD Jon, has hacked encryption coding in Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, opening up content broadcast for the multimedia player to alternative devices on multiple platforms,” Gavin Clarke reports for The Register. “Jon Lech Johansen has reverse engineered a proprietary algorithm, which is used to wrap Media Player NSC files and ostensibly protect them from hackers sniffing for the media’s source IP address, port or stream format. He has also made a decoder available.”

“The hacker hopes his move will make content streamed to Media Player more widely available to users of alternative players on non-Windows platforms,” Clarke reports. “His latest hack was done to make Media Player content available to the open source VideoLAN Client (VLC) streaming media player. VLC is available for download to 12 different operating systems and Linux distributions and has seen more than six million downloads to Mac… Johansen told The Register he’d acted following requests for NSC support in VLC. One developer is already hard at work integrating Johansen’s decoder into the VLC. Johansen said: ‘Windows Media Player is not very good and Windows and Mac users should not be forced to use it to view such [NSC] streams.'”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Resurrection Day comes quickly for PyMusique – March 22, 2005
The day the PyMusique died; Apple kills DVD Jon’s iTunes Music Store hack – March 21, 2005
‘PyMusique’ lets users buy songs without DRM from Apple’s iTunes Music Store – March 18, 2005


  1. i don’t get why there are still a lot of people backing/adopting Microsoft technology after all that we learned about Microsoft and its business practices. the virus factor alone should be enough reason to abandon the platform completely.

  2. Eric24601,

    the same people that vote for a stupid president that can’t make a positive decision or course of action for the US unless the media calls him on it or big money is involved that benefits his round table of evil.

    it is a crap player. any player that doesn’t let you always fast forward through video via a scroll mechanism in every instance is painful to use

  3. Eric24601 said:
    “the virus factor alone should be enough reason to abandon the platform completely.”

    You’d think so. but in general, people get used to the flak. Also, despite the growing awareness that Macs have no viruses, they just can’t believe it. This sounds just like more hype about protection and safety. After all, they don’t believe M$ when they say it.

    MW: already-as in, enough, alaready!

  4. actually if you RTFA, Johansen points out that the stream is hardly encrypted. all he did was crack the wrapper around the file so it’s user-readable. the “encryption” is a misnomer…it’s more like a complicated ROT13.

    MDN: “near,” as in M$ was so “near” having everyone fooled into thinking its media format was hacker-proof.

  5. Just once, I’d like for MDN to delete the political bile from the comments section where there is nothing in them that pertains the discussion at hand.

    As for DVD Jon, good for you, that should improve WMV playability on VideoLAN, which I use sometimes for AVIs and WMVs that won’t play in anything else (even WMP9, go figure!)

  6. i like vlc more than mplayer, and i use it just as much as i use quicktime. especially for file formates that i can’t get to play on quicktime. so this is good news. what i’m not clear on is has the hack already been added to vlc or do i have to download something?

  7. Eric, the answer to your question is: Security.

    …. job security, that is. If even 5% of the businesses running on Windoze switch to anything but, there’d be tens of thousands of former IT personnel in welfare lines.

    MW: yes, as in “yes, there is a method to the madness. It’s just not very rational.”

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