Steal This Movie - Automatically Bypassing DRM Protection in Streaming Media Services


Ruoyu Wang, Yan Shoshitaishvili, Christopher Kruegel, Giovanni Vigna


Proceedings of the 22nd USENIX Conference on Security (USENIX Security), August 2010


Streaming movies online is quickly becoming the way in which users access video entertainment. This has been powered by the ubiquitous presence of the Internet and the availability of a number of hardware platforms that make access to movies convenient. Often, video-on-demand services use a digital rights management system to prevent the user from duplicating videos because much of the economic model of video stream services relies on the fact that the videos cannot easily be saved to permanent storage and (illegally) shared with other customers. In this paper, we introduce a general memory-based approach that circumvents the protections deployed by popular video-on-demand providers. We apply our approach to four different examples of streaming services: Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Spotify, and Netflix and we demonstrate that, by using our technique, it is possible to break DRM protection in a semi-automated way.


  title     = {{Steal This Movie - Automatically Bypassing DRM Protection in Streaming Media Services}},
  author    = {Wang, Ruoyu and Shoshitaishvili, Yan and Kruegel, Christopher and Vigna, Giovanni},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 22nd USENIX Conference on Security},
  series    = {USENIX Security},
  year      = {2013},
  address   = {Berkeley, CA, USA},
  isbn      = {978-1-931971-03-4},
  pages     = {687--702},
  publisher = {USENIX Association},
  url       = {}