Pirates stealing DirecTV's signals using a specially hacked smart card were foiled by an electronic countermeasure sent out by the DBS service. Twice last week, DirecTV sent the final steps in special software had been apparently sending out in small segments over several weeks. DirecTV has regularly sent out "electronic countermeasures" since its encryption scheme was first compromised shortly after the DBS service went on the air. But rarely has it been so effective, judging from the traffic on several hacking Web sites. One decryption-card supplier said he hasn't found a way around this latest defense-yet. DirecTV would not comment.