By Ed Oswald | Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 9:49 am
An Israeli hacker going by the handle “Labba” claims he has found a method which breaks the copyright protection on the Kindle, allowing the user to transfer eBooks purchased on the device as a PDF to another device. Kindles use a proprietary format “.azw” which prevents transfer to another device.
Not all books for Kindle include DRM — Amazon leaves it up to the publisher to decide whether or not they would like to protect their content. It is likely the company will rush to patch the hole opened by the hacker, although it was not immediately responding to requests for comment Wednesday.
The hack was developed as an entry to a contest on hacking.org.il, where participants were tasked with finding a way to open up the AZW format to allow it to be read on other devices. The hack took about eight days for Labba to complete. The hack is actually an application that is installed onto the device, which then converts the files to the mobi format. Be forwarned though that Amazon has apparently already pushed out code for the Kindle that breaks these scripts, although it is reported it does not auto-update the device.