Professor Uses Legos To Hack E-Book Security On Kindle

Legos are not exactly known for a piece of tech equipment. But an associate professor at Vienna University of Technology has now used legos to hack the Kindle e-book security.

Lego Mindstorms

Peter Purgathofer teaches, among other courses, a course about society and technology. However, he insists that this particular project didn’t have anything to do with his career as a professor and was more of a private project.

To pitch up a basic robot, Purgathofer used Lego’s Mindstorms, which is essentially a popular basic robotics kit. The entire equipement comprises of Mindstorms, an Amazon Kindle and a Mac. The operation is such that a camera takes photos of each e-book page, sends the photo to a cloud-based text-recognition program which, in turn, converts the page into simple text file.

In this manner, Purgathofer demonstrated, the entire book can be ‘scanned’ and then recreated, rendering the security of the e-book useless. The interesting part is that even a camera such as iSight in Mac, is able to correctly photograph the text so that it can easily be scanned later.

According to Purgothofer, he undertook this project to demonstrate and lament the loss of rights of the authors who, he says, are simply licensees of their own books these days. He says, “It ended being a reflection on the loss of long-established rights when you buy an e-book. You make a copy of that book, but at eye-level, so that the result is not a stack of paper, but another e-book.”

The project shows that how a very simply gear of tech equipments can be used to crack some of the most advanced security techniques when it comes to protecting copyrights in e-books.

Courtesy: All Things D

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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