Developer cracks Apple’s private key for AirPlay wireless audio streaming

“A developer has cracked Apple’s private key for the AirPlay wireless audio streaming protocol, opening the door for computers and other devices to integrate with AirPlay in ways that were not previously possible,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

“The AirPlay key was reverse-engineered by developer James Laird, who has published the information in an open-source emulator dubbed ShairPort,” Lane reports. “The tool, first discovered by MacRumors, can allow devices to receive AirPlay streaming content using Apple’s native integrated capabilities in iTunes and iOS devices.”

Lane reports, “Laird took apart an AirPort Express and reverse engineered the AirPlay keys out of the device’s read-only memory chip… ShairPort could be used to accept and play a wireless stream on a Mac, PC, or other hardware.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Okay, so this version of “AirPlay” is the original, where you plug speakers into your AirPort Express and then listen to iTunes in another room? That’s what he cracked? I doubt Apple cares. That’s old-hat by now.

    I don’t get what’s supposed to happen next. No device manufacturer is going to risk angering Apple by using this hack in their products. So essentially, this will allow people with way too much time on their hands to hack existing devices to receive AirPlay streams. Or they could, y’know, just go to Best Buy and buy a device that already works with AirPlay.


    1. What’s could happen next: assuming this key can be used for sending a stream as well as receiving one, then open source software players could appear for Air Play devices. Basically free versions of Airfoil. Airfoil’s cheap enough at 25 bucks though…

    2. This isn’t for mainstreamers.

      It’s for jailbreakers.

      Let’s just say there are 100 million iOS devices in the wild, for simple math, and 5% of those devices are jailbroken.

      That’s 5 million jailbroken devices.

      If just 1% of those jailbreakers pay $1.99 for this capability, that is nearly $100,000 worth of revenue for some lucky developer.

      It’s not a big deal to Apple, but it is a big deal to someone.

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