Feeds

Hack exposes AACS 'hole'

Keys handed over without authentication

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
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.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.