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Microsoft poo-poos MS Audio security hack

Unangst vs Unfuck

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Microsoft released the final version of its MS Audio 4 technology this week -- only to find its copyright protection mechanism cracked within hours of the software being posted on its Web site. Of course, Microsoft was typically blase about the crack, poetically called Unfuck. "It's nothing new," said MS lead product manager Kevin Unangst, according to digital music company MP3.com's Web site. "This isn't a problem with our technology. No one broke Windows Media's rights technology. Anytime you have an architecture where there is an output of sound, people can capture it." However, according to Angelo Sotira, owner of the Dimension Music Web site, which first revealed the existence of Unfuck, the crack works at a more fundamental level than Microsoft claims. "Unfuck.exe actually breaks the protection on any file," he said in his site, "The file isn't recorded or captured in some way." But no matter how Unfuck allows users to bypass MS Audio's security features, the fact is, it does exactly what it says on the tin. And that calls into question the music industry's support for the format. Sony, for one, has said it will use MS Audio for its online music distribution trials, though it may now be persuaded to change its mind. ®

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