HowardForums: MobiTV is trying to shut us down!

March 7, 2008 at 11:20 am 1 comment

HowardForums: Your Mobile Phone Community & Resource – Announcements in Forum: Windows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC)

This is all over the tech. news today. Apparently HowardForums posted a URL for MobiTV. A URL that allows anyone to access MobiTV’s paid content for free. MobiTV provides paid TV content to mobile phone users, and the URL presented was specific to Sprint, although I understand people have found several others now.

So- MobiTV sent them a take-down notice claiming that they “hacked” their site, in violation of the DMCA. A public URL with no login or other protection is not protected by any law, copyright or DMCA, and cannot be “hacked”- it is just there. There are also no laws against posting a public URL in a public forum. Several companies have tried to fight this- and have been shot down.

Unfortunately, instead of taking it as a clue- MobiTV has sent a take-down notice to HowardForums ISP. Generally ISPs have to comply with this, pending an investigation or unless their legal department deems the notice to be without merit. In any case- it can result in a legal battle, and it could take HowardForum’s down indefinitely.

Security by obscurity has likely never been a viable security method on the Internet. From some of the earliest days- crawlers and spiders have been available to root out URLs (and prior to the Web- Archie addresses, for example), and brute-force dictionary attacks on domains are commonplace. Whoever is in charge of IT at MobiTV should be ashamed to work there right now.


Entry filed under: Security.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. neowolfwitch  |  March 7, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Forgot to add:

    You’d think that by now- most companies have figured out that the fastest way to insure a security vulnerability or other issue they want covered-up gets the widest possible coverage and exposure is to send someone a cease-and-decist or take-down notice for it.

    Had MobiTV just fixed the problem, instead of doing this- some readers of HowardForums would have been disappointed to lose their free TV feeds, but hundreds of thousands of people wouldn’t know it had happened. Now- they are boned. Of course- the REAL problem is they CAN’T fix it, without disconnecting their paying customers.


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