Norwegian hacker takes a bite out of Apple's iTunes

The Norwegian hacker who broke the DeCSS DVD encryption has now cracked Apple's AirPort technology, which encrypts music sent between iTunes and wireless base stations
Written by Lars Pasveer, Contributor on

Jon Lech Johansen, the Norwegian hacker famous for cracking DVD encryption, has cracked Apple AirPort Express.

Johansen has revealed the public key that Apple AirPort Express, a wireless networking protocol, uses to encrypt music sent between iTunes and a wireless base station.

AirPort Express was released in June 2004 as a small wireless bridge from a personal computer to a hi-fi. Details of the AirPort Express codes were also published on Johansen's weblog, which is called So Sue Me.

In a double whammy for Apple, Johansen also wrote a program called JustePort - allowing software other than Apple iTunes to stream music to AirPort Express.

Thanks to Johansen's work, it's now only a matter of time before other popular software is capable of streaming music to the Airport Express. Until now, a copy of iTunes 4.6 was required.

Johansen shot to fame over his controversial program that bypassed DeCSS encryption schemes on DVDs.

In 2003, he narrowly escaped criminal charges, brought by Hollywood, after a Norwegian court found him justified in developing the program to view legally bought DVDs on his Linux machine.

Lars Pasveer writes for ZDNet Netherlands
Editorial standards