Feeds

HD DVD anti-rip encryption cracked

First test of AACS key-switching system

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Has the HD DVD next-generation optical disc format's anti-rip technology been cracked? That's certainly what's being claimed by a programmer going by the name muslix64 who has posted a Java-based app he maintains will free the video on a disc from its encryption shackles.

HD DVD used the AACS copy-protection system to encode content. So does the Blu-ray Disc format, though it adds a couple of extra anti-piracy techniques to boost its level of protection. According to muslix64's posting on a Doom9 forum, nosing around his PC's memory, he found his test disc's title encryption key and was able to use to copy the movie to his hard drive and decrypt the video.

Enter BackupHDDVD, his Java-coded utility that gets a movie's key from memory, possibly via the player software, and then uses it to copy the movie over to the hard drive in an unencrypted form. There's a caveat: muslix64 admitted the code - for which he's provided the source - is highly unstable. It's also open to question how generic all this is as it only seems to work with one title.

The programmer added that he's also found the disc's overarching volume key, and is preparing a BackupHDDVD update for 2 January that will allow users to extract other files from an HD DVD.

Muslix64 posted his utility just before Christmas, so it's taken a little longer than usual for hackers and other users to evaluate the coder's claims. But it remains a potentially major embarrassment for the HD DVD format's supporters in the content and hardware industries, coming just ahead of a big Consumer Electronics Show (CES) push to drive the format ahead of its rival, Blu-ray Disc.

After the DVD format's more basic encryption technology, Content Scrambling System (CSS), was cracked by 'DVD Jon' Johanssen, AACS was heralded as a much bigger hurdle for hackers.

However, AACS does more than boost the complexity of the encryption. It adds techniques for ditching compromised keys, and it remains to be seen how not only the AACS organisation but also the HD DVD camp respond to this. Keys can be tweaked to force users to update their software if they want to be able to play future titles, and that may be what happens in this instance. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.