Cable boxes affected include the Eurovox, Nokia Dbox, Starview and Kryptview.
Users receiving cable TV illegally receive the error message “Please wait…code been updated” and no channels can be accessed.
According to industry analyst Ian Waller, “The change is causing false keys to be recorded on a ROM7 update, usually only 1 or 2 characters are wrong, this has been happening on ROM10 and ROM11 updates for the last year. A genuine card can handle the change, an emulator can not.”
Virgin Media applied a similar change around a year ago, and it took almost a week for firmware updates for chipped boxes to keep pace.
However, from reports coming in the changes by virgin may not be a simple one off event, but instead being applied on a daily basis.
Although updates are available on the internet which try to keep track of the changes, if the code changes are being implemented on a daily basis this could make it very difficult for firmware updates to keep track.
The result would be a victory for Virgin in their battle against cable piracy, and an end to the widespread use of cable boxes for receiving free cable TV.
UPDATE: Reports in the Techwatch forums suggest another code update began at 3:30pm today. It looks like Virgin have indeed started to apply daily code changes.