Feeds

Hack exposes AACS 'hole'

Keys handed over without authentication

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Hackers appear to have figured out how to access one of the crucial HD DVD encryption keys without having to authorise the data - potentially rendering the latest attempt to block such activity useless.

The crack, posted on the Xboxhacker website, uses a standard, unmodified Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD drive to hand over a disc's Volume ID without ensuring AACS has authenticated it first. Since no authentication is performed, even if the Volume ID has been rejected by the AACS Licensing Authority - the organisation that maintains the copy-protection system - it can still be used.

The Volume ID is just one of a number of keys used by AACS to encrypt a disc's content. It's used with the Processing Key held by the playback software to create the Volume Unique Key (VUK) used to decrypt the content.

The crack doesn't facilitate copying per se, but it does appear to make it possible to play back copies as if they were the real thing. Until now, this has required the drive's firmware to be patched.

Decrypting a disc to access the content - say, to burn a AACS-free copy, or to transcode the content into another format - remains difficult, not least because the Processing Key can be controlled by the AACS LA by demanding it be changed, typically by releasing a new version of the playback app.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.