Feeds

Latest AACS crack 'beyond revocation'

That's torn it

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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 smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.