Plex Mounts Huge DigiCert Encryption Install for Media Streaming

DigiCert, a global certificate authority, has partnered with Plex media streaming solution to provide publicly trusted certificates to enhance security with end-to-end encryption. From now on, every Plex video and music streaming packet leaving and entering a user’s network is encrypted, and its recipient verified.

The idea is to prevent account takeovers, man-in-the-middle attacks, stream piracy and other nefarious activities.

DigiCert’s SSL/TLS Internet of Things (IoT) solution will address tens of millions of Plex media servers and clients—making it one of the largest implementations of publicly trusted certificates to date.

"With the rapid expansion of supported devices and significant user growth, security is a top priority for Plex," said Plex chief product officer Scott Olechowski. "Times have changed. To adapt, we are rolling out DigiCert encryption and security to every server and client. This will counteract possible attacks, hacks, or snooping and provide all of our users with the trusted ‘green lock’ for each of their devices and platforms.”

Plex will be utilizing existing PKI technologies and SSL/TLS encryption. The complex nature of the deployment requires a unique digital certificate and private key for each individual streaming media server. It was no small task, given the number of platforms that the service supports. For example, Internet Explorer requires Diffie-Hellman parameters to be larger than 512 bits, while some LG smart TVs ship with a specific set of root certificates which are missing some common code that would normally be expected.

On top of that, Plex media servers can be accessed both remotely and on a LAN, and at any given time, it may be accessible via multiple addresses. Certificates are generally associated with a small set of unchanging IP addresses, so the rollout required DNS manipulation to remove that limitation.

“By partnering with DigiCert, Plex is providing customers with additional peace of mind with layers of security that go beyond today’s industry norm,” said DigiCert CSO Jason Sabin, in a statement. “Each Plex Media Server will now get its own unique, high-assurance SSL certificate, enabling the client to securely browse and play back content using the strongest encryption available. Users simply sign in and safely connect to their media no matter where they are.”

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