|Title of Invention||
A DIGITAL TRANSMISSION SYSTEM FOR ORGANIZING AND AUTHENTICATING DATA
|Abstract||A digital transmission system in which data is organised and authenticated prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory module 75, subdirectory module 76 and file module 77, data in a file 77 being acted upon by an authentication algorithm and an associated file authentication value 82 stored in the referring subdirectory module 77, this file authentication value 82 being in turn acted upon by an authentication algorithm and an associated subdirectory authentication value 79 stored in the referring root directory module. Other aspects of the invention relate to the authentication of a second root directory 78 by generation of a second authentication value 83 and the authentication of data before encapsulation in a transport stream.|
The present invention relates to a digital transmission system.
Broadcast transmission of digital data is well-known in the field of pay TV systems, where scrambled audiovisual information is sent, usually by satellite or satellite/cable link, to a number of subscribers, each possessing a decoder capable of descrambling the transmitted program for subsequent viewing. Terrestrial digital broadcast systems are also known. Recent systems have also used the broadcast link to transmit other data, in addition to or as well as audiovisual data, such as computer programs or interactive applications to the decoder or a to a connected PC.
A particular problem with the transmission of application data lies in the need to verify the integrity and origin of any such data. Since data of this kind may be used to reconfigure the decoder, as well as implementing any number of interactive applications, it is essential that the received data is both complete and identified as originating from a known source. Otherwise, operational problems linked to downloading of incomplete data may arise, as well as the risk that the decoder becomes open to attacks by third parties or the like-Previous attempts to authenticate such data have concentrated on the verification of the packet stream of data received directly by the decoder, for example, through the signature and encryption of the packets in an MPEG transport stream. In such a packet stream, a packet directory table contains, for example, a list of all tables containing data for that application together with a list of hash value associated with each table. The directory table itself may be signed prior to transmission, such that this information may not be modified.
The problem with such known systems lies in their unsuitability for handling more complex data organization structures. In particular, the use of a single directory table containing a complete list of hash values for each associated table means that such systems cannot easily be adapted to handle large or variable numbers of tables. The
system is equally ill adapted to permit authentication of software provided by a number of broadcast operators, since a single MPEG directory table links the tables and since the encapsulation of the data in the MPEG packets is carried out at the compression stage, under the control of a sole operator.
According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a digital transmission system, for organising and authenticating data prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory module, subdirectory module and file module, said system comprising:
means for applying an authentication algorithm to data in a file;
means for storing an associated file authentication value in the referring subdirectory module;
means for subsequently applying an authentication algorithm to the stored file authentication value; and
means for storing an associated subdirectory authentication value in the refering root directory module.
Unlike known systems, where a single table directory refers to all the associated tables, the use of a multiple hierarchy structure together with the application of an authentication algorithm at each step in the hierarchy provides a secure and modularised data structure. As a file authentication value in a subdirectory is in turn authenticated at an upper level by a corresponding value in the root directory it is not possible to change one element in a lower level without changing the authenticating values at a higher level (and vice versa)
Preferably, authentication of the file data is carried out by means for applying a hashing algorithm to some or all of the file data, the system further comprising means for storing the resulting hash value as the file authentication value in the referring subdirectory. Equally, authentication of a subdirectory may be carried out by means for applying a hashing algorithm to the file authentication value (and other data, if desired), the system further comprising means for storing the resulting hash value as the subdirectory authentication value in the referring root directory.
Other embodiments may be envisaged, for example, where file data is encrypted in accordance with an encryption algorithm and the encryption key (or its identifying key number) used as the authentication value stored in the subdirectory. This file key may in turn be encrypted and the encrypting key stored in the root directory as the Authentication value etc. Whilst possible, this embodiment is rather more complicated, to put into place due to the increased complexity of the operations necessary to generate encryption key values.
In contrast, the use of hashing algorithm to carry out the authentication of each module enables a particularly simple and rapid check of the integrity of each module to be carried out. In one embodiment, a simple hashing algorithm such as a checksum calculation may be used. However, this would not enable a detection of falsification, since it is relatively simple to determine how any change in a message affects the hash value.
Preferably the hashing algorithm corresponds to a cryptographically secure algorithm
that generates a substantially unique hash value from a given set of data. Suitable hashing algorithms that may be used for this purpose include, for example, the Message Digest version 5 (MD5) algorithm or the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA).
Advantageously, the system comprises means for applying a hashing algorithm to an accumulation of data from a plurality of files to generate a single hash value to authenticate file data for said plurality of files. Equally, authentication of a number of subdirectories may be carried out by means for applying a hashing algorithm to an accumulation of file authentication values from a plurality of subdirectories (and other data, if desired) to generate a single hash value.
The use of a cumulative hashing process to cover a plurality of data modules (files, subdirectories etc.) at a lower layer further simplifies the system in comparison, for example, with systems which store list of individual hash values for each module. This again enables the system to reduce the calculation steps needed at each level and reduces the size of authentication data stored in an upper layer.
In the case of the embodiments using a hashing algorithm to authenticate each layer, the system will be "open", that is, all the hash values will be readable up to the root directory. Since hashing algorithms are publically available, third party could theoretically change stored data e.g. at a the level without detection if the corresponding hash values at subdirectory and root directory level were also changed at the same time.
In older to avoid this, the system preferably comprises means for applying a secret key of an encryption algorithm to at least some of the data stored in the root directory, and means for storing the resulting encrypted value in the root directory module. Preferably, the encrypted value corresponds to a digital signature. Suitable private/public key algorithms for this purpose include, for example, the RSA algorithm.
Advantageously, at least one or more subdirectory authentication values are encrypted by a secret key to generate a signature stored in the root directory. It is nevertheless possible to envisage data in the root directory other than the subdirectory authentication values being signed in order to "close" the system.
In an alternative to the generation of a signature, the system may comprise means for encrypting or scrambling whole or part of the root directory, the receiver possessing an equivalent key to decrypt the encrypted root directory data. In this case, a symmetric key algorithm such as DES may be used.
As will be understood, whilst the authentication process has been described above with reference to two hierarchical levels, similar authentication steps may be carried out ad infinitum for further referred files, subdirectories, root directories, etc.
Similarly, whilst the structure has been defined root directory/ subdirectory/file for the sake of clarity of language, no particular characteristic of each module in a layer is assumed, other, than the referral to a lower layer module by two upper layer modules. As will be understood, the data structure may just as equally be root
-5-directory/subdiicctory/second root directory or any other combination.
The following described embodiments focus on a module in a lower layer, i.e. referred to by a directory or subdirectory. As will become clear although referred to from an upper layer, this module may nevertheless itself be a directory module, subdirectory module etc.
In one embodiment, a referred module includes an encrypted value generated by a secret key, the system comprising means for calculating an authentication value for this module based on the results of an authentication algorithm on the encrypted value, and means for storing the authentication value in the referring module. In particular, as with the equivalent root directory embodiment described above, the system may comprise means for generating a signature value for the referred module by means of an encryption algorithm, and means for applying a hashing algorithm to the signature value to generate the authentication value.
This embodiment is particularly adapted to the situation in which the referred module is a root directory for a further set of data. e.g. of a different origin and where the referred root modules also includes a signature. In this case, a first operator can assemble and sign data up to the level of the root directory.
Thereafter, a second operator can refer to this data without knowing the encryption key, any link simply being authenticated in the referring module by the hash value of the signature in the referred root directory. Authentication of both sets of data will of course only be possible to a receiver possessing the necessary keys to verity the signatures in both root directories.
As described above, data may be organised and authenticated into any set of multiple hierarchy data modules. The present invention may also be applicable to a system for organising packets in a transport stream, if multiple levels of root directory, subdirectory, file etc. can be provided. However, this invention is particularly applicable to a transmission system in which the data modules correspond to a Set of
data file, the system comprising means for encapsulating the data files in data packets to form a transport stream.
Unlike authentication at the packet level, this embodiment enables complete independence between as assembly of authenticated data and its encapsulation in a transport stream and, again, facilitates the supply of software from different sources in the transport stream. controlled by a single broadcast operator.
In particular, the data modules may preferably correspond to data objects formatted according to the DSMCC standard. Furthermore, the data files are preferably encapsulated in data packets conforming to the MPEG standard.
According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a digital transmission system for authenticating a first and a second set of linked data modules, said system comprising:
means for generating a signature for one of the first set of modules by means of secret key.
means for authenticating at least this signature value by an authentication
means for storing the authentication value in a module in the second set of
modules that refers to that first module.
According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a digital transmission system comprising:
means for organising data in a series of files;
means for encapsulating the files in a series of packets in a transport stream; and
means for authenticating said data, between flies and prior to encapsulation of the files-
Any or all of the features of the first aspect of the invention aad its preferred embodiments may of course be combined with the second and third aspects of the
The present invention has been described above in relation to a transmission system which generates authentication data prior to transmission. The invention in its broadest and preferred embodiments equally applies to a receiver which carries out the reverse steps for verifying this data.
In its broadest aspects, the present invention relates to any digital transmission system. However, the invention. is preferably applied to a digital television is system and in particular, to data modules carrying application software for use in a receiver/decoder of the digital television system.
A related aspect of the present invention provides a method of authentication of data sent in a digital transmission characterised by the organisation and authentication of the data prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory module, subdirectory module and file module data in a file being acted upon by an authentication algorithm and an associated file authentication value stored in the referring subdirectory module, this file authentication value being in turn acted upon-by an authentication algorithm and an associated subdirectory authentication value stored in the referring root directory module.
Another related aspect provides a method of authentication of a first and second set of linked data modules sent in a digital transmission, characterised in that one of the first set of modules includes a signature generated by a secret key acting on that first module, at least this signature value being authenticated by an authentication algorithm and the authentication value being stored in a module in the second set of modules that refer to that first module.
Yet another related aspect provides a method of authentication of data sent in a digital transmission, characterised in that data is organised in a series of files, authentication being carried out between files and prior to encapsulation of the files in a series of packets in a transport stream.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a digital transmission system for organizing and authenticating data prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory module, subdirectory module and file module, said system comprising : means for applying an authentication algorithm to data in a file ; means for storing an associated file authentication value in the referring subdirectory module ; means for subsequently applying an authentication algorithm to the stored file authentication value ; and means for storing an associated subdirectory authentication value in the referring root directory module.
The present invention also provides a method of authentification of data sent in a digital transmission system characterized by the organization of the data prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory unit, subdirectory unit and file unit, data in a file acted upon by an authentification algorithm and an associated file authentification value stored in the referring subdirectory, this file authentification value being in turn acted upon by an authentification algorithm and an associated subdirectory authentification value stored in the referring root directory.
As used herein, the term "digital transmission system" includes any transmission system for transmitting or broadcasting for example primarily audiovisual or multimedia digital data. Whilst the present invention is particularly applicable to a broadcast digital television system, the invention may also be applicable to a fixed telecommunications network for multimedia internet applications, to a closed circuit television, and so on- As will be understood, the term "digital television system" includes for example any. satellite, terrestrial, cable and other system.
The term "receiver/decoder" or "decoder" used in the present application may connote a receiver for receiving either encoded or non-encoded signals, for example, television and/or radio signals, which may be broadcast or transmitted by some other means. The term may also connote a decoder for decoding received signals. Embodiments of such receiver/decoders may include a decoder integral with the receiver for decoding the received signals, for example, in a "set-top box", such a decoder functioning in combination with a physically separate receiver, or such a decoder, including additional functions, such as a web browser or a video recorder or a television.
The term MPEG refers to the data transmission standards developed by the International Standards Organisation working group "Motion Pictures Expert" Group" and in particular but not exclusively the MPEG-2 standard developed for digital television applications and set out in the documents ISO 13818-1, ISO 13818-2, ISO 13818-3 and ISO 13818-4. In the context of the present patent application, the term includes all variants, modifications or developments of MPEG formats applicable to the field of digital data transmission.
The term DSMCC refers to the data file format standards described in the MPEG documents and in the current document ISO 13818-6.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
There will now be described, by way of example only, a preferred embodiment of the
invention with reference to the attached figures of the accompanying drawings in which :
Figure 1 shows the schematic outline of a digital television system as an embodiment of the present invention;
Figure 2 shows the structure of a decoder of the system of Figure 1;
Figure 3 shows the structure of a number of components within the MPEG broadcast transport stream;
Figure 4 show the division of a software application into a number of MPEG tables;
Figure 5 shows the relationship between DSMCC data files and the eventually produced MPEG tables;
Figure 6 shows the client, server, network manager relationship as defined in the context of DSMCC
Figure 7 shows the authenticated directory, subdirectory and file objects in this embodiment of the invention.
An overview of a digital television system l according to an embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 1. The invention includes a mostly conventional digital television system 2 that uses the known MPEG-2 compression system to transmit compressed digital signals. In more detail, MPEG-2 compressor 3 in a broadcast centre receives a digital signal stream (typically a stream of video signals). The compressor 3 is connected to a multiplexer and scrambler 4 by linkage 5.
The multiplexer 4 receives a plurality of further input signals, assembles the transport stream and transmits compressed digital signals to a transmitter 6 of the broadcast centre via linkage 7, which can of course take a wide variety of forms including telecommunications links. The transmitter 6 transmits electromagnetic signals via uplink 8 towards a satellite transponder 9, where they are electronically processed and broadcast via notional downlink 10 to earth receiver 12, conventionally in the form
of a dish owned or rented by the end user. The signals received by receiver 12 arc transmitted to an integrated receiver/decoder 13 owned or rented by the end user and connected to the end user's television set 14. The receiver/decoder 13 decodes the compressed MPEG-2 signal into a television signal for the television set 14.
Other transport channels for transmission of the data are of course possible, such as terrestrial broadcast, cable transmission, combined satellite/cable links, telephone networks etc.
In a multichannel system, the multiplexer 4 handles audio and video information received from a number of parallel sources and interacts with the transmitter 6 To broadcast the information along a corresponding number of channels. In addition to audiovisual information, messages or applications or any other sort of digital data may be Introduced in some or all of these channels interlaced with the transmitted digital audio and video information. In such a case, a stream of digital data in the form for example, of DSM-CC format software files and messages, will be compressed and packetised into the MPEG format by the compressor 3. The downloading of software modules will be described in greater detail below.
A conditional access system 15 is connected to the multiplexer 4 and the receiver/decoder 13, and is located partly in the Broadcast centre and partly in the decoder. It enables the end user to access digital television broadcasts from one or more broadcast suppliers. A smartcard, capable of deciphering messages relating to commercial offers (that is, one or several television programmes sold by the broadcast supplier), can be inserted into the receiver/decoder 13. Using the decoder 13 and smartcard, the end user may purchase commercial offers in either a subscription mode or a pay per view mode. In practice, the decoder may be configured to handle multiple access control system's, e.g. of the Simulcrypt or Multicrypt design.
As mentioned above, programmes transmitted by the system are scrambled at the multiplexer 4, the conditions and encryption keys applied to a given transmission being determined by the access control system 15. Transmission of scrambled data
in this way is well known in the field of pay TV systems. Typically, scrambled data is transmitted Together with a control word for descrambling of the data, the control word itself being encrypted by a so-called exploitation key and transmitted in encrypted form.
The scrambled data and encrypted control word are then received by the decoder 13 having access to an equivalent of the exploitation key stored on a smart card inserted in the decoder to decrypt the encrypted control word and thereafter descramble the transmitted data. A paid-up subscriber will receive for example, in a broadcast monthly ECM (Entitlement Control Message) the exploitation key necessary to decrypt the encrypted control word so as to permit viewing of the transmission. In addition to their use in decrypting audiovisual television programs, similar exploitation keys may be generated and transmitted for use in the verification of other data such as software modules as will be described below.
An interactive system 16, also connected to the multiplexer 4 and the receiver/decoder 13 and again located partly in the broadcast centre and partly in the decoderr, enables the end user to interact with various applications via a modem back channel 17. The modem back channel may also be used for cammunications used in the conditional access system 15. An interactive system may be used, for example, to enable the viewer to communicate immediately with the transmission centre to demand authorisation to watch a particular event, download an application etc.
Referring to Figure 2, the physical elements of the receiver/decoder 13 or set-top box adapted to be used in the present invention will now be briefly described. The elements shown in this figure will be described in terms of functional blocks.
The decoder 13 comprises a central processor 20 including associated memory elements and adapted to receive input data from a serial interface 21, a parallel interface 22, and a modem 23 (connected to the modem back channel 17 of Fig 1).
The decoder is additionally adapted to receive inputs from an infra-red remote control
25 via a control unit 26 and from switch contacts 24 on the front panel of the decoder. The decoder also possesses two smartcard readers 27, 28 adapted to read bank or subscription smartcards 29, 30 respectively. Input may also be received via an intrared keyboard (not shown). The subscription smartcard reader 28 engages with an inserted subscription card 30 and with a conditional access unit 29 to supply the necessary control word to a demultiplexer/descrambler 30 to enable the encrypted broadcast signal to be descrambled. The decoder also includes a conventional tuner 31 and demodulator 32 to receive and demodulate the satellite transmission before being filtered and demultiplexed by the unit 30.
Processing of data within the decoder is generally handled by the central processor 20. The software architecture of the central processor corresponds to a virtual machine interacting with a lower level operating system implemented in the hardware components of the decoder.
There will now be described, with reference to Figures 3 and 4, the packet structures of data within the broadcast MPEG transport stream sent from the transmitter to the decoder. As will be appreciated, whilst the description will focus on the tabulation format used in the MPEG standard, the same principles apply equally to other packctiscd data stream formats.
Referring in particular to Figure 3, an MPEG bitstream includes a programme access table ("PAT") 40 having a packet identification ("PID") of 0. The PAT contains references to the PIDs of the programme map tables ("PMTs") 41 of a number of programmes. Each PMT contains a reference to the PIDs of the streams of the audio MPEG tables 42 and video MPEG tables 43 for that programme. A packet having a PID of zero, that is the programme access table 40, provides the entry point for all MPEG access.
In order to download applications and data for them, two new stream types are defined, and the relevant PMT also contains references to the PIDs of the streams of application MPEG tables 44 (or sections of them) and data MPEG tables 45 (or
sections of them). In point of fact, whilst it may be convenient in some cases to define separate stream types for executable application software and data for processing by such software, this is not essential. In other realisations, data and executable code may be assembled in a single stream accessed via the PMT as described.
Referring to Figure 4 in order to download, for example, an application within a stream 44, the application 46 is divided into modules 47, each formed by an MPEG table. Some of these tables comprise a single section whilst others may be made up by a plurality of sections 48. A typical section 48 has a header, which includes a one-byte table identification ("TID") 50, the section number 51 of that section in the table, the total number 52 of sections in that table and a two-byte TID extension reference 53. Each section also includes a data part 54 and a CRC 55. For a particular table 47, all of the sections 48 making up (hat (able 47 have the same TID 50 and the same TID extension 53. For a particular application 46, all of the tables 47 making up that application 46 have the same TID 50, but different respective TID extensions.
For each application 46, a single MPEG table is used as a directory table 56. The directory table 56 has, in its header, the same TID as the other tables 47 making up the application. However, the directory table has a predetermined TTD extension of zero for identification purposes and due to the fact only a single table is needed for the information in the directory. All of the other tables 47 will normally have nonzero TID extensions and arc composed of a number of associated sections 48. The header of the directory table also includes a version number of the application to be downloaded.
Referring back to Figure 3, the PAT 40, PMTs 41 and application and data stream components 44, 45 arc cyclically transmitted. Each application which is transmitted has a respective predetermined TID. To download an application, the MPEG table having the appropriate TID and a TID extension of zero is downloaded to the receiver/decoder. This is the directory table for the required application. The data in
the directory is then processed by the decoder to determine the TID extensions of the tables making up the required application. Thereafter any required table having the same TID as the directory table and a TID extension determined from the directory can be downloaded.
The decoder is arranged to check the directory table for any updating of it. This may be done by downloading the directory table again periodically, for example every 30 seconds, or one or five minutes, and comparing the version number of the previously downloaded directory table. If the freshly downloaded version number is that of a later version, then the tables associated with the previous directory table are deleted, and the tables associated with the new version downloaded and assembled.
In an alternative arrangement, the incoming bitstream is filtered using a mask corresponding to the TID, TID extension and version number, with values set for the TID of the application, a TID extension of zero and a version number one greater than the version number of the currently downloaded directory. Accordingly, an increment of the version number can be detected, and once detected the directory is downloaded and the application is updated, as described above. If an application is to be terminated, an empty directory with the next version number is transmitted, but without any modules listed in the directory. In response to receipt of such an empty directory, the decoder 2020 is programmed to delete the application.
In practice, software and computer programs to implement applications in the decoder may be introduced via any of the parts of the decoder, in particular in the datastream received via the satellite link as described, but also via the serial port, the smartcard link etc. Such software may comprise high level applications used to implement interactive applications within the decoder, such as net browsers, quiz applications, program guides etc. Software may be also be downloaded to change the working configuration of the decoder software, for example by means of "patches" or the like.
Applications may also be downloaded via the decoder and sent to a PC or the like connected to the decoder. In such a case, the decoder acts as a communication router
for the software, which is eventually run on the connected device. In addition to this routing function, the decoder may also function to convert the MPEG packetised data before Touting to the PC into computer file software organised, for example, according to the DSMCC protocol (see below).
Previously, measures implemented to verify the completeness and origin of application data leave focused on verifying the tables in the MPEG packet stream. In particular, in conventional systems, a hash function is applied to each of the individual sections 48 prior to transmission and the resulting check value or signature for each section stored in a list in the directory table 56 sent to the decoder Comparing the hash value subsequently calculated by the decoder with the check value stored in the directory for a received section enables the integrity of the received section to be verified.
Data within the directory 40 may equally be subject to a hashing process to generate a further check value or signature for the directory table 40. Furthermore, this checking value can be encrypted by a private key and stored in the directory table. Only those decoders possessing a corresponding public key may authenticate the
In contrast to such conventional systems, the present embodiment relates to a means for securing and verifying application data organised in a multiple hierarchy of data files or objects at the level of the application. This will be understood more clearly from Figure 5 which shows the relationship between data organised in a set of DSMCC U-U data files 60, in an assembled application 46 and as encapsulated within a series of MPEG tables 47.
Prior to transmission, the data files are assembled into the application 46 and, thereafter, packetised by an MPEG compressor into MPEG tables or modules 47, as described above, including a header 49 specific to the MPEG packet stream and including table ID, version number etc. As will be appreciated, there may be no fixed relation between the data organised in the data files 61 and the eventual MPEG tables 47. After reception and filtering by the decoder the packet headers 49 are discarded
and the application 46 reconstituted from the payload of the tables 47.
The DSMCC format for data files is a standard adapted in particular for use in multimedia networks and which defines a series of .message formats and session commands for communication between a client user 70, a server user .71. and network resource manager 72. See Figure 6. The network resource manager 72 may be considered as logical entity acting to manage the attribution of resources within a network. Although initially conceived for use in the context of bidirectional network communication, recent implementations of the DSM-CC standard have focused on its use for unidirectional broadcast purposes.
Communication between a client and a server is set up by a series of sessions, a first series of messages being exchanged between a user (client 70 or server 71) and the network manager 72 in order to configure the client and/or server for communication. Such messages are formatted according to the so-called DSMCC U-N (user to network) protocol. A subset of this protocol has been defined in particular for broadcast downloading of data-onec a communication link has been established, messages are subsequently exchanged between client 70 and server 71 according to the DSMCC-U-U-(user to user protocol). A sequence of messages of this kind correspond to the data files 60 of Figure 5. In the case of DSMCC U-U messages, data is organised in a series of messages 61 grouped according to the BIOP or Broadcast inter Orb Protocol.
Each message or object 61 comprises a header 62, a sub-header 63 and a payload 64 containing the data itself. In accordance with the BIOP protocol, the header 62 contains, inter alia, an indication of the type of message and the BIOP version whilst the sub-header indicates the type of object and other information to the defined by the system architect.
Data objects 64 within the payload of DSMCC U-U files maygenerally be defined as one of three types; directory objects, file objects and stream objects. Directory
objects define root directories or Subdirectories used to reference a series of associated file objects containing the actual application data.
Stream objects may be used to enable a temporal relationship to be established between data contained in the data files and the MPEG packet stream itself. This may be used, for example, in the case of interactive applications contained in the data files and designed to be synchronised with the elementary video or audio streams received and processed by the decoder. As mentioned above, there may otherwise be no direct correlation between the MPEG packetised data and the data files.
Unlike the MPEG tables, where a single directory references a set of tables with only a single level of hierarchy, the data files 60 may be organised in a rather more complex hierarchical manner. As with files stored in a PC or server, a main or root directory may refer to one or more subdirectories which refer in turn to a second level of data files. Reference may even be made to a second root directory associated with another set of application data.
Referring to Figure 7, an example of file structure for a set of data files is shown. A root directory DIR AD indicated at 75 references a group of subdirectories Al to A4 indicated at 76. Each subdirectory 76 references one or more sets of associated object files 77. For the sake of clarity only a single group of object files F1, F2 etc. associated with the subdirectory A4 is shown. In practice a number of groups of object files may be referenced by each of the subdirectories Al to A4.
Within each directory and subdirectory a set of authentication steps is introduced for the files linked to that directory. Referring to the root directory 75, the subheader 63 comprises a hash value obtained by applying a hash algorithm to some or all of the data stored in the subdirectory files Al to A4 indicated 76. The hashing algorithm used may be of any known type such as, for example, the Message Digest algorithm MD5.
In one realisation, the algorithm may be applied to each associated file or subdirectory
individually and a list of the hash values for each subdirectory 76 stored in the root .directory 75 prior to transmission. However, whilst such a solution enables an increased degree of checking resolution in terms of verifying each subdirectory, this solution may be rather inefficient in terms of the processing tirne necessary for the decoder to calculate the corresponding signatures.
Accordingly, the subheader 63 of the directory 79 preferably comprises a cumulative hash value 79. calculated by applying the MD5 hashing algorithm to the combined subheader and payload sections 63, 64 of the subdirectories 76, that is, without the header 62. In particular, the hash values 82 contained within the subdirectories 76 and referring to the layer of file objects 77 are included in this hashing calculation.
In the case of the subdirectory A4 shown in Figure 7, this subdirectory itself refers to a set of object files Fl-Fn indicated at 77. In this case, a cumulative hash value 82 is generated for the combined contents of the object files 77. This value is included in the hashing process giving rise to the hash value 79, It is therefore not possible to change any of the object files 77 without changing the hash value 82 of the subdirectory 76, which in turn will change the hash value 79 of the directory 75.
In the present case, a combined hash value is calculated for all of the subdirectories A1-A4 referenced in the directory. This hash value is stored together with an identifier of the group of subdirectories from which the data has been taken. In other embodiments, a series of combined or individual hash values and corresponding identifiers may be stored in the subheader of the directory.
For example, a second set of subdirectories, also associated with the root directory but relating to a different set of data or executable code may also be grouped together and a cumulative hash value calculated for these subdirectories calculated and stored in the subheader root directory. A single hash value associated with a single directory may equally be stored in the subheader of the root directory.
The authorisation of groups or individual data files docs not of course prevent the root
directory (or, indeed, any other file) from also referring to non-validated or unhashed data files, but the absence of validation of such a file will need to be taken into account in any, operations with this file. In this regard, it may not be necessary, for example, to authenticate stream objects.
The use of a hashing function in this case primarily enables the decoder to verify the integrity or completeness of the downloaded data files. In the case, for example, of a fault or break in the transmission, the operation of a cumulative hashing algorithm on the received dependent files will not give the same result as the hash value for these files stored in the root directory. The decoder will then be alerted to the presence of possible errors in the downloaded data and will reload the faulty data files.
As will be appreciated, in the case of a hashing algorithm, the calculation of the hash value is carried out according a publically known series of calculation steps and as such, anyone can generate the hash value for a given set of data files. It is thus not normally possible to verify the origin of such data files by simply checking the hash
To overcome this problem, a signature value for the root directory 75 is calculated using a secret key value known only to the operator. This key may correspond to a key obtained by a symmetric key algorithnvsuch as the Data Encryption Standard or DES algorithm. However, preferably a private/public key algorithm such as the Rivest, Shamir and Alteman or RSA algorithm is used, the operator responsible for producing the data files possessing the private key value, the public key values being held by the decoders.
As shown in Figure 7, the root directory 75 comprises a key identifier or magic number 80 that will identify to the decoder the public key to be used in the verification stage together with the calculated signature value 81 generated using the private key of the operator. In this case, the signature value 81 is generated by applying the private key held by the operator to some or all of the data within the directory 75, preferably including the payload data 64 and/or the cumulative hash
value or values 79. The decoder can then verify this signature value 81 using the corresponding public key identified by the key number 80.
In this example, the data in the directory 75 is unencrypted and the private key is simply used to provide a signature value verifiable by the public key. In. alternative embodiments, some or all of the contents of the directory may be encrypted by the private key and thereafter decrypted by a corresponding key.
In either case, the generation of a signature value or block of encrypted code by use of a secret key enables a decoder to verify the integrity and origin of the directory 75 and, by implication, the integrity and origin of the files referred to by this root directory. Since the cumulative hash values for the referred files are included in the calculation of the signature 81 it is not possible to alter these values without this being detected at the verification stage. Since each hash value is generally unique to a given set of data, it would therefore not be possible to change the content of any of dependent hashed files without changing their characteristic hash value and, thereby, the resulting signature value of a directory.
The root directory 75, subdirectories 76 and object files 77 arc all generated by one broadcast operator of the system, indicated here as operator A. In this case, these files will all have a known and verifiable common origin.
However, depending on the application to be implemented, reference may equally be made to a set of data files associated with a second operator B. In this case, the subdirectory 76 includes a reference to the root directory DIR BO of a second set of data files, indicated at 78 It is also possible to envisage connections between data files from different sources at other levels, for example, a file hierarchy in which a first subdirectory in one set of files refers to subdirectory of a second set of data files etc.
As with the root directory DIR A0 for the operator A, the DIR BO root directory indicated at 78 includes one or more cumulative hash code values 84 associated with
its associated subdirectories (not shown), a key number 85 identifying the public key of the operator B to be used in the verification step and a signature value 86 generated-by the corresponding operator private key..
A hash value for this directory is calculated using the hash value 84 and signature 86 in the subheader of the directory and the pay load data 64 of the directory 78 as well. This hash value is then stored in the subdirectory A4 thereby enabling a verification of the integrity of the data in the directory table to be carried out.
Due to the fact that the signature 86 and hash values 84 are included in the calculation of the hash value 83, the integrity of the rest of the data files referred to by the root directory 78 may also be assumed, since none of these dependent files may be changed without changing the hash value 84 and, more importantly, the signature value 86. Since the signature value 86 is only calculable by a person possessing the private operator key the integrity of all files referred to by the directory 78 may be assumed, assuming corresponding hash values arc calculated for further dependent subdirectories and object files.
In this way, application data relating to executable programs or the like generated by a second operator may be interlinked with applications associated with a first operator in a secure and reliable manner.
As will be appreciated, a number of variations may be possible, notably to reduce the amount of data hashed or signed at each stage. In particular, in the case of a signature or hash value in a directory or subdirectory used to verify a lower level data file, the directory signature or hash value may be generated using only the lower level hash value and no other data.
For example, the combined hash value 79 in the A0 directory 75 may be generated using the combined hash values 82, 83 of each of the A1-A4 subdirectories indicated at 76. Since these values are just as unique as the data in the payloads of the subdirectory, the combined hash value 79 will still be unique to the subdirectories in
question. Furthermore, the integrity of the lower level of object and directory files 77, 78 may still be assumed since the hash values 82 are still used in the calculation.
Equally, the hash value 82 calculated to verify the BO directory indicated at 78 may be calculated simply using the signature value 86. Since this is dependent on and uniquely associated with the hash values 84, which hash values arc in turn dependent on the next level of files, the integrity of the whole of the sets of dara files referred to by the directory 78 may still be assumed.
-23-WE CLAIM :
1. A digital transmission system for organizing and authenticating data
prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory module,
subdirectory module and file module, said system comprising :
means for applying an authentication algorithm to data in a file ;
means for storing an associated file authentication value in the referring subdirectory module ;
means for subsequently applying an authentication algorithm to the stored file authentication value ; and
means for storing an associated subdirectory authentication value in the referring root directory module.
2. A system as claimed in claim 1, comprising means for applying a
hashing algorithm to some or all of the file data, and means for storing the
resulting hash value as the file authentication value in the referring
3. A system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the hashing algorithm
corresponds to a cryptographically secure algorithm that generates a
substantially unique hash value from a given set of data.
4. A system as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising means for
applying a hashing algorithm to an accumulation of data from a plurality of files
to generate a single hash value to authenticate file data for said plurality of
5. A system as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising means for
applying a hashing algorithm to at least the file authentication value to
authenticate a subdirectory, and means for storing the resulting hash value as
the subdirectory authentication value in the referring root directory module.
6. A system as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising means for
applying a hashing algorithm to an accumulation of file authentication values
from a plurality of subdirectories to generate a single hash value for
authentication of said plurality of subdirectories.
7. A system as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising means for
applying a secret key of an encryption algorithm to at least some of the data
stored in the root directory, and means for storing the resulting encrypted
value in the root director module.
8. A system as claimed in claim 7, wherein the encrypted data
corresponds to a digital signature generated using a private key of an
encryption algorithm, the signature being verifiable by use of a corresponding
9. A system as claimed in any preceding claim in which a referred module
has an encrypted value generated by a secret key, the system comprising
means for calculating an authentication value for this module based on the
results of an authentication algorithm on the encrypted value, and means for
storing the authentication value in the referring module.
10. A system as claimed in claim 9, comprising means for generating a
signature value for the referred module by means of an encryption algorithm,
and means for applying a hashing algorithm to the signature value to generate
the authentication value.
11. A system as claimed in claim 9 or 10 in which the referred module is a
second root directory module.
12. A system as claimed in any preceding claim in which the data modules
correspond to a set of data files, the system also comprising means for
encapsulating the data files in data packets to form a transport stream.
13. A system as claimed in claim 12, in which the data modules correspond to
data objects formatted according to the DSMCC standard.
14. A system as claimed in claim 12 or 13, wherein said encapsulating means
is adapted to encapsulate the data files in data packets conforming to the MPEG
15. A system as claimed in any preceding claim, corresponding to a digital
16. A method of authentication of data sent in a digital transmission system
characterized by the organization of the data prior to transmission into a
hierarchy of at least one root directory unit, subdirectory unit and file unit, data in
a file acted upon by an authentification algorithm and an associated file
authentification value stored in the referring subdirectory, this file authentification
value being in turn acted upon by an authentification algorithm and an associated
subdirectory authentification value stored in the referring root directory.
17. A method of verification of received data sent in a digital transmission system as claimed in any of claims 1 to 14, in which a receiving decoder acts upon data in a file with an authentification algorithm and compares the resulting value with the authentification value stored in the referring subdirectory, and also acts upon at least the file authentification value stored in the subdirectory with an authentification algorithm and compares the subsequent resulting value with the
associated subdirectory authentification value stored in the referring root
18. A digital transmission system comprising :
means for organizing data in a series of files ;
means for encapsulating the files in a series of packets in a transport stream ;
means for authenticating said data between files and prior to encapsulation of the files.
19. A digital transmission system for organizing and authenticating data prior
to transmission into a heirarchy of at least one root directory module,
subdirectory module and file module, substantially as herein described
particularly with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
20. A method of authentication of data sent in a digital transmission system,
substantially as herein described particularly with reference to the accompanying
Dated this 22nd day of June, 1998.
of D. P. AHUJA & CO.
A digital transmission system in which data is organised and authenticated prior to transmission into a hierarchy of at least one root directory module 75, subdirectory module 76 and file module 77, data in a file 77 being acted upon by an authentication algorithm and an associated file authentication value 82 stored in the referring subdirectory module 77, this file authentication value 82 being in turn acted upon by an authentication algorithm and an associated subdirectory authentication value 79 stored in the referring root directory module.
Other aspects of the invention relate to the authentication of a second root directory 78 by generation of a second authentication value 83 and the authentication of data before encapsulation in a transport stream.
|Indian Patent Application Number||1097/CAL/1998|
|PG Journal Number||30/2009|
|Date of Filing||22-Jun-1998|
|Name of Patentee||CANAL+SOCIETE ANONYME|
|Applicant Address||85/89, QUAI ANDRE CITROEN, 75711, PARIS, CEDEX 15|
|PCT International Classification Number||H04N 7/167|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|