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DVD Jon, The Anti-DRM Hacker

The Fifteen Greatest Hacking Exploits

DVD Jon, also known as Jon Johansen, is part of a particular genre of hackers known as crackers. Their purpose is not to enter a system or network, but to study how computers work and get into their internals. Starting in 2001, he quickly made a name for himself on the Internet, particularly by discovering ways to circumvent data protection systems - used on CDs, DVDs and other digital files - commonly known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems.

One of the projects that significantly contributed to making DVD Jon famous was his QTFairUse program in 2003. This deceptive name hid a piece of software that was capable of stripping DRM data, the system that restricts the use of media files - mainly music files purchased from Apple's iTunes. In attacking Apple, Jon was challenging a brand that relied on DRM to insure the success of its powerful iPod and iTunes brands.

Seven Years of Hacktivism Against DRM

The QTFairUse program was able to access the raw data in a file purchased from iTunes and to extract it, bypassing the protection method. The first tests were not conclusive, because the output files were not always readable by any kind of player. Nevertheless, DVD Jon's project improved until it became a nightmare for Apple's business.

His other known projects revolve around DVDs, which also use DRM protection, especially to prevent copying. Recently, DVD Jon was noted for contributing several solutions to bypass the different protections included with the iPhone. In fact, this young man was the first to be able to use Apple's phone without having to subscribe to the mandatory carrier.

Despite two investigations in 2003, Jon Johansen has never been sentenced.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 4, 2008 7:27 AM
    They should have very serious consequences for hackers. I'm tired of defaced websites, viruses, trojans, etc. Although it is fun to screw around with other people's computers..especially if they've done it to you...but either way there should be some huge penalties for hacking. I say chop off a thumb on the first offence. 2nd offence: chope off the rest of the fingers on that hand. Hackers along with script kiddies would cease to exist.
  • 3 Hide
    itadakimasu , September 12, 2008 7:20 PM
    sounds like you have been the victim of malware and virii while doing some questionable internet browsing...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2008 4:41 AM
    Well, 'Anonymous', I hope you're using Tor to browse the 'intarweb', you worthless plebian.
    Here in the USA, we aren't barbarians, and the only people who would even deserve such harsh treatment would be rapists and their ilk. Even so, we just lock em up and release them on probation a few months/years later. :p 
    Not perfect, but I say cutting off fingers because you're too stupid to take basic steps to protect your system? Kinda harsh.
    The difference between a robber and a hacker, is that you can completely stop a hacker by unplugging your phone line from your modem.
    Do that, for the sake of humanity. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    arkadi , September 18, 2008 1:27 PM
    Well it is important info, but i don't think you can call them the best :)  they got basted after all. Governments got best hackers if you ask me.
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , September 18, 2008 1:39 PM
    There are numerous other well documented hacks that probably deserved a mention.

    At least you did take the moral high ground.

    You neglected to mention Electron and Phoenix ... clearly they were better than most of these mentioned here.

  • 2 Hide
    deadliest , October 17, 2008 10:44 AM
    hmmm so this hacker list is not complete oh oh oh , you should have guys, it was most interesting reading about this. But i think hackers are a necessary evil without them how would i play my pirated games :D 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2010 11:03 PM
    @ Arkadi
    "Well it is important info, but i don't think you can call them the best :)  they got basted after all. Governments got best hackers if you ask me. "

    Lol, where do you think the Government found there hackers? They hired guys like this ^^Rofl
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2011 9:12 AM
    Script kiddies. Blegh.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2011 8:58 AM
    its good to be a hacker
  • 0 Hide
    jordanprogrammer , October 8, 2013 9:19 AM
    the best website for programming language: