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Nikon camera encryption cracked

Just months after Canon's camera encryption was cracked, the same team has claimed that it has managed to crack Nikon's authentication system used in high-end SLRs.

Just months after Canon's camera encryption was cracked, the same team has claimed that it has managed to crack Nikon's authentication system used in high-end SLRs.

Image verification systems from Canon and Nikon are used to ensure that photos taken with the companies' cameras are authentic and have not been tampered with, particularly when used as legal or political evidence.

Nikon encryption ElcomSoft
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Steve Jobs share their love of real Apples. According to Nikon's authentication software, this photo is authentic. (Credit: ElcomSoft)

"ElcomSoft researchers discovered a flaw in the way the secure image signing key is being handled in camera. The vulnerability allowed the researchers to actually extract the original signing key from a Nikon camera," the company said in a statement.

As a result, ElcomSoft can create manipulated images that pass verification checks, as they have been created with this authentication key.

ElcomSoft has released a range of manipulated photos that pass the Nikon Image Authentication check, which are also available for download with digital signatures so that others can verify the check for themselves. The affected cameras include the Nikon D3X, D3, D700, D300S, D300, D2Xs, D2X, D2Hs and D200, plus any future camera that uses the same authentication key.

Nikon Australia was contacted for comment, but had not provided a response at the time of writing.