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Pirated Marvel Comics Scans Traced To Cyber Security Hole

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Pirated Marvel Comics Scans Traced To Cyber Security Hole

Postby sunnyd » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:46 pm

Story :

That every new Marvel and DC Comics release can be found for free on various comic book piracy websites on the same day they're released in stores has been a constant source of anger and bewilderment in the industry. The truth that actual human beings take the time to purchase and scan (whether from a print comic or ripping a digital edition from comiXology or elsewhere) every release so that it can be distributed on the Web as soon as possible is simply too weird for some people to bear, but that is exactly what happens. At least, that's exactly what happens for DC Comics releases. Marvel Comics releases -- specifically, those labeled by pirates as "digital scans" - are procured in a far different manner: from the digital source files of Marvel itself, thanks to an exploitable security hole.

Credit to cyber sleuths David Brothers and David Uzumeri - both regular ComicsAlliance contributors - for confirming not just the nature of the Marvel scans but also, they write at 4thletter!, the source of the leak.

Having determined the typical paramaters of scanned comics - resolution, file size, indica, fonts and overall quality - Brothers and Uzumeri observed that the Marvel titles labeled "digital scans" were of a markedly different fidelity than those of DC and other publishers. The Marvel scans employ a uniform standard seemingly sized and formatted specifically for reading, and the same differences eliminate screenshots of comiXology products or rips from its Web reader.

What's more, the Marvel scans are appearing on piracy sites in bulk hours before authorized same-day digital comics go on sale. Included in those pirated packages are titles that are not available via any same-day digital initiative, yet their quality remained consistent with the other digital scans. As such, these conspicuously excellent Marvel scans are not coming from comiXology or another digital partner.

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