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New Results from Cracking HD-DVD and Blu-Ray

A hacker has cracked digital rights management (DRM) by finding the keys for all Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies and copied those to hard drives.

Arnezami, the discoverer of the key revealed it at Doom9 discussion forums and also described the process of determining it.

A DRM scheme called Advanced Access Content System (AACS) encrypts data on HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs. Unlike previously when only disc-specific Volume keys could be compromised, with DRM the short chain of hexadecimal codes would crack open AACS.

Essentially, the same means that extract volume keys discovered these keys i.e., by throwing memory at vital points while running an HD-DVD movie with the aid of a software player. The player that Arnezami used for his illicit activity is not really among too many to choose from. So although he did not specify the player, it is immaterial to know which one he abused. Basically, all software players must stack the decryption keys in memory any time during their execution.

That is significantly important, according to Jeff Moss, organizer of DefCon. DefCon is the largest hacking convention in the world that attracts large gatherings of security researchers, hackers, and government workers. Moss said anyone could now buy the DVD content, store, manage and place it anyway he wants on a hard drive.

Arnezami explained how he succeeded in cracking the DRM. While his player was loading the Kong disc, he sought for changes occurring in his computer memory. Then he made a memory-dump using the WinHex file editor to easily locate the key.

In December last, companies promoting a copyright protection system related to high-definition DVDs said they were examining into what a hacker claimed to have unlocked the code protecting new discs from piracy. The hacker who called himself Muslix64, declared on the Internet the procedure he used to crack the encryption known as Advanced Access Content System. AACS does not allow all devices to play high-definition discs and that prevents illegal copying.

Companies like Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., and many others developed the AACS system to protect formats having high-definition quality like Toshiba's HD-DVD and Sony's Blu-ray.

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