nCipher Security News Release

Prima Cinema deploys Thales security technology to achieve movie industry first

Thales nShield HSMs help protect new-release movies and enable first commercial service for secure distribution to the home

Thales, a world leader in critical information systems and cybersecurity, announces that PRIMA Cinema, a pioneer in providing the ultimate home cinema experience, has deployed Thales nShield hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect ultra-high value intellectual property and as a result create a new industry. Through its innovative use of Thales security technology, PRIMA Cinema is able to address the piracy concerns of Hollywood studios and has become the first company in the history of cinema to be granted rights to distribute theatrical release movies to private home cinemas.

Key facts:

  • The PRIMA Cinema team needed a highly secure way to protect digital movies from piracy and to strictly control the viewing of movies by authorized viewers in their home
  • As the first company to convince Hollywood studios that their digital content was safe, PRIMA Cinema have been given the right to distribute first-run movies directly to the home
  • The PRIMA Cinema security system, which has been validated by a team of independent assessors appointed by the movie studios, employs multiple layers of encryption as well as certificate-based strong authentication between its servers and home playback devices to ensure the digital content cannot be copied or played by unauthorized devices
  • As with any security system that relies on encryption and digital signatures, the level of assurance that is provided depends on the secure generation, protection and use of cryptographic keys. The most widely recognized best practice for maximizing security in these systems is the use of hardware security modules (HSMs) such as the Thales nShield family
  • PRIMA Cinema took their security assurance levels one stage higher by capitalizing on the unique CodeSafe offering from Thales. CodeSafe enables not only keys and encryption processes to be protected inside the nShield HSM but also highly sensitive application code. nShield HSMs equipped with the CodeSafe capability create a tamper-resistant application container or sandbox in which security critical software can execute in a highly trusted fashion

Shaiwal Priyadarshi, Chief Technology Officer, PRIMA Cinema, says:

“Film piracy is an enormous concern for studios and distributors who lose billions of dollars each year when film and TV properties are illegally copied and distributed. From the outset, we knew that to get approval from the studios, we needed the higher assurance security of a FIPS-certified, hardened appliance with a multi-layered approach to security, using industry standard algorithms in conjunction with long key lengths suitable for the strongest protection available. Thales HSMs delivered on all accounts without interfering with or compromising the quality of the user experience – an absolute must for PRIMA Cinema’s value proposition. Furthermore, by utilizing the capabilities of Thales’ hardened appliance, we have been able to architect a system that is impervious to the recent issues experienced by some software-only solutions.”

Cindy Provin, president, Thales eSecurity Inc., says:

“There can be no question that we live in an increasingly digital world and the need to protect high value content and intellectual property is paramount. Cryptography is a critical technology in these new security systems and Thales is excited to be at the forefront of helping customers establish the levels of trust that are necessary to enable this revolution. Thales is honoured to support PRIMA Cinema in such an innovative and ground breaking venture. It’s refreshing to see sophisticated security controls being employed in a way that create new commercial opportunities and business models.”