Feeds

Latest AACS crack 'beyond revocation'

That's torn it

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Hackers have found a way of circumventing the AACS copy prevention technology used by next-generation DVD disks. Unlike earlier breaks, the latest crack can't be papered over simply by pushing key revocation updates.

Advanced Access Content System (AACS) encryption forms the cornerstone of the content protection technology on high-definition DVD formats such as Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. The technology includes a system for revoking keys, making it impossible to play newly released high-definition movies via versions of playback software known to be weak or flawed.

For example, last month WinDVD 8 users need to update their software, after crackers worked out a way to grab content protection keys. Hackers sniffed out the keys using an approach based on figuring out memory changes made after playing high-def discs on their PCs.

The latest crack, once again formulated by the denizens of the Doom9 forums, is said to be immune to key revocation. The hardware hack involves tampering with the HD DVD add-on drive of an Xbox 360 to capture the "Volume Unique Keys", Ars Technica reports.

The key can be extracted after de-soldering the HD DVD drive's firmware chip, reading its contents, and then reconnecting it. The approach bypasses the encryption performed by the Device Keys, so revoking these keys as applied by the WinDVD update. Although the latest approach involves voided warranties and potential solder burns, Ars Technica adds that the ruse takes hackers one step closer to using software to achieve the same ends.

The attack caps a miserable week for the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA), the custodian of the AACS encryption. The organisation has been busy sending out legal nastygrams to websites that published a 32-digit hexadecimal number that represented one of the keys for cracking AACS involved in last month's attack. Predictably the move chiefly served to publicise the infamous number.

Now AACS LA has got an even more serious chink in the armour of AACS to contend with. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?