Apparently Nikon's Image Authentication system has been hacked. Individuals (Elcomsoft - a Russian Security Firm [insert eyeroll]) were able to retrieve the key used to sign images from the images themselves. This allows individuals with this knowledge to sign edited images, thus thwarting Nikon's Authentication system. The Nikon Authentication System is used primarily in order to ascertain if an image has been modified after creation. This has been marketed to be an important part of court proceedings, and the use of digital imaging as evidence. Or as Nikon states...
According to Nikon's advertisement for the Authentication system:
Three file formats can be verified: The software enables verification of JPEG, TIFF and NEF (RAW) data taken using a Nikon digital SLR that is compatible with the authentication function.
Quick and easy verification of authenticity: Permits verification via a personal computer as to whether an image has been processed or edited after it was taken. Thumbnails of the images selected in the results display area are displayed for confirmation.
Protection of the software itself: Various code protections are employed to prevent alterations to the software program. To further improve reliability when using this software, both a product key and a USB key are required. The USB key must be plugged into the USB port to commence application.
The software was released July 2006 and sells for $649.95 USD on Nikon's online store shop.nikonusa.com/store/nikonusa/en_US/list/parentCategoryID.43889500/categoryID.45386300
For more details see more information at the following websites: