Feeds

Cheap-as-chips kit smashes Intel's HD video encryption

German boffins crack HDCP with $200 gear

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

German boffins have pulled off a successful attack on HDCP copy protection – using cheap hardware and a lot of clever coding.

Intel's HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) allows the encrypted transfer of high definition video signals via DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and other connectors and between TVs and Blue-ray discs or set-top boxes. The HDCP master key was leaked last year but there was no easy way to exploit this.

Rather than trying to design a customised chip (both expensive and complicated), computer scientists in the Secure Hardware Group at Germany's Ruhr University built a custom board using relatively inexpensive FPGA chips. A Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA featuring an HDMI port and a serial RS232 communication port was created and sat between a Blu-ray player and a flat screen TV, intercepting and decrypting traffic, without being detected. The rig, which cost little over $200, was built by professor Tim Güneysu and PhD student Benno Lomb, as part of a research project in copy protection.

Although the exercise shows that HDCP is vulnerable to practical attacks the whole exercise is of little interest to pirates, who can more easily tap compressed high-definition content from receivers rather than faffing about with uncompressed HDCP streams whether or not they are strongly encrypted.

"Our intention was rather to investigate the fundamental security of HDCP systems and to measure the actual financial outlay for a complete knockout," Güneysu explained, H Security reports. "The fact that we were able to achieve this in the context of a PhD thesis and using materials costing just €200 is not a ringing endorsement of the security of the current HDCP system." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Soundbites: News in brief from the Wi-Fi audiophile files
DTS and Sonos sing out but not off the same hymnsheet
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.