- Infomir’s MAG boxes unlocked through the release of a custom firmware version.
- The hacker shared the firmware image on multiple websites, and the community of users welcomed it with celebrations.
- The custom firmware was built using Infomir’s own toolset, removing the URL blacklisting file.
Two weeks back, Infomir, a popular set-top-box manufacturer announced their intention to place blocks to pirate IPTV domains. Infomir stated that they only wanted to comply with the current EU and US legislation on copyright protection, and that the pressure from copyright holders left them no other option. As is always the case with such lockdowns, people find a way to get around them sooner or later, and it seems that a Reddit user named “Thr0wawayicus” already did, as he shared the news of his own custom firmware for all Infomir models.
Infomir had made no revelations on how they would impose URL blocks on their TV boxes, fearing that any disclosures on the technical side would undermine their actions. Tech-savvy users, however, focused on the content of the latest firmware updates and what differentiated them from the previous, 'unlocked' versions. What “Thr0wawayicus” discovered when he used the Wireshark tool to monitor the packet traffic of the box, was an encrypted access over an HTTPS connection that created a file called 'dls.backup'. This particular file was not to be found in earlier firmware versions, so he decided to investigate it further. As he discovered, this file contains a URL blacklisting content, playing the dual role of prevention and activity storage for future updates blocking.
The hacker figured that simply deleting 'dls.backup' would resolve the issue as it shouldn’t affect the functionality of Infomir’s MAG boxes otherwise. The other measure that should be taken was to patch the browser to prevent the communication that generates the URL blacklisting file. To do this for models MAG 250, 254, 256, 322, and 324, “Thr0wawayicus” had to do a lot of testing and back and forth comparisons with the official firmware, but the whole process took him two days in total. Interestingly, Infomir’s boxes are allowed to run custom firmware spins, and the company is even providing the tools for creating these tailored firmware versions. “Thr0wawayicus” openly admitted of using Infomir’s toolset, so whether the company will now decide to retract these tools from their website or not, is a valid question.
“Thr0wawayicus” told to TorrentFreak that his motivation behind this work was the fact that he was not comfortable with the equipment manufacturer dictating what people can and cannot do with their devices. The MAG user community is already celebrating on the various portals that offer the custom firmware, which enables them to end their admittedly brief URL blocking problems.
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