Dmitry Sklyarov

Russian computer programmer arrested in the United States in 2001 for violating the DigitalMillenniumCopyrightAct. He wrote programs that could crack the encryption on Adobe's e-books, converting them to regular PDF files, and his company offered these programs for sale on its Russian web site. Interestingly, one of his company's biggest customers was the FederalBureauOfInvestigation?.

He also exposed a number of copy-protection schemes which were so insecure they could be described as fraudulent; one of them was charging $3000 for ROT-13 encryption built into a hardware dongle. Read his presentation:

DmitrySklyarov is currently out on bail. His employer paid the $50,000 bail.

I think there's a lot of people who think Sklyarov is in jail for breaking some incredibly simple cipher. However, Adobe used some crazy mutation of RSA encryption. It was their key distribution scheme that was weak, that he broke, and that's what he's in jail for. It's still stupid, though.

Err, his software also broke the ROT-13 encryption (an option in ebooks). That is also technically illegal.

Update. Sklyarov was allowed to return to his home in Russia. His videotaped testimony was used in a trial of Elcomsoft in the USA. Elcomsoft was found not guilty by the jury.


View edit of December 31, 2002 or FindPage with title or text search