Sky Issue 08




Sky Television/Multichannels


NDS VideoCrypt




Unknown (see Notes)





Late 1993?


None (see Notes)


September 1995?


31 October 1995

Card Pictures

No images of this card are currently available.


It is unclear whether this card existed, or was ever released to the public. The card initially planned to replace Sky Issue 07 is said to have been equally vulnerable to existing attacks and not fundamentally different from it from a security perspective. It is said that the difference was primarily a new set of keys. However, given that the apparently similar Sky Issue 07 had been comprehensively abused by pirates, it seems logical that its equally vulnerable replacement was been deemed insufficient and simply abandoned before deployment (or during; see below), leading to a fundamentally redesigned Sky Issue 09 to restore security to the service.

However, Syndicated Hack Watch reported in April 1994 that reports had been received of Issue 08 cards arriving at commercial properties such as pubs and cable companies and that infrastructure was in place to use them. The report notes that three versions were currently active in broadcasts; 07, 08, and 09. Whilst these reports are unverified, this Sky Viewing Exchange promo from 1995 which notifies viewers of a change to the new Sky Issue 10 card lends it credence. Shown in the clip are the two cards to be replaced by the new card; Sky Issue 09 and a card which appears to be Sky Issue 07. Given that Sky Issue 07 was rendered obsolete and inoperable by Sky Issue 09 due to extreme piracy, it seems very likely that the pictured card must be Sky Issue 08. This suggests that Sky Issue 08 had the same graphic design as Sky Issue 07, as Sky Issue 06 did before it, prior to each new card issue bearing new artwork.

As increasing numbers of hacks for Sky Issue 07 came towards the end of its life, it may make sense that Sky Issue 08 had begun to roll out as scheduled as a security fix which was deemed sufficient until that point. It may have begun rolling out to priority customers before residential viewers, but been halted before reaching residential viewers due to the increasing security concerns around the current technology.

Based on the claims that this card was very similar to its predecessor, it seems likely that existing hacks may have been similarly effective for pirates, unlike its more complex successor. The limited distribution and availability of Sky Issue 08 cards may have made this difficult to exploit despite the potential ease of adapting existing hacks, allowing Sky Issue 08 to survive until the release of Sky Issue 10 and avoid the need for replacing already distributed cards.