Azara Blog: High-definition DVDs have been hacked

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Date published: 2007/01/27

The BBC says:

The encryption on high-definition DVDs has been bypassed, the consortium backing the copy protection system on discs has confirmed.

At the end of last year a hacker claimed he had defeated the protection on a number of HD-DVD titles, leading to fears the entire system was broken.

But the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) Licensing Authority has said the breach is limited.

"It does not represent an attack on the AACS system itself," the group said.

The AACS group has admitted that a hacker had managed to decrypt some discs and other people were now able to make copies of certain titles.

The hacker, known as muslix64, has been able to access the encryption keys which pass between certain discs and the player. Once those keys have been obtained the disc can be stripped of its encryption enabling the digital content to be played on any machine.

A spokesman for the AACS group said the large size of the files and the high cost of writable hi-def discs made widespread copying of the movies impractical.

The AACS response is slightly disingenuous. If "widespread copying of the movies [is] impractical" then why bother with a copy protection system in the first place. It just shows once again how difficult it is to produce a good copy protection system.

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