back to article Cracked HD-DVD and Blu-Ray app keys revoked

A next-generation DVD security group has responded to hack attacks that allow unfettered access to Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content by pulling the encryption keys of PC applications associated with the attack. The move makes it impossible to play newly released high-definition movies via versions of playback software, including …

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Wast of time?

Maybe I misunderstood something - but now that a technique has been developed, won't the new keys be cracked in a matter of hours after release? Am I now going to be expected to update my software weekly, or more often?

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Gold badge

Software is one thing

But suppose they manage to sniff a key for a hardware player from a major manufacturer.

Would they dare revoke the licence forcing all owners to bring in their players for a software update?

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Anonymous Coward

Thank God for...

all the hard work of crackers and hackers. Without whom none of this would be possible. No PC's, no Internet, no networking, and certainly no innovation. Were it not for the minds and thinking that fuel hacking we'd be stuck with mainframes and analog. So to all the whiners and naysayers: consider that and shut up.

My best to those who hack and make it happen, with out your hard work be stuck in a rut, at best.

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Wait and see

This is yet another reason not to buy an HD device yet.

I don't think I'm alone in thinking so.

This should be a very good reason for the film industry to think over.

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Anonymous Coward

It's just silly.. muslix64 was an hacker, uh? Yeah,sure...

Just like behind DeCSS programs for DVDs and the myth of the "young genius hacker" and such.. This is just pure marketing (so lies due to the people in the industry and their inability to play fair towards customers) and nothing else.

The manufacturers just wanted to test how much interest there is in the HD formats before they start lowering HD-DVD/BD burners prices as well as that of blank media and such. Then "it will magically appear" another "hack" and then another one and so on just it happened with DVDs. It's the usual pathetic trick.

No, wouldn't it be much better to drop AACS completely along with any other insane DRM stuff and start selling products at very low prices just like it would happen in a true capitalistic market not owned by these marketeers and their DRM stuff and "young genius hackers" stuff popping up here and there along with some "reverse engineered" (yeah,sure..) modchip and so on ?

Geez! If only a bit of honesty invaded the industry everything would work way smoother and there would be less issues worldwide for everyone, indeed!

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Yes it's going to be 'interesting' ...

... in the Chinese curse sense.

As Giles Jones asks, it will be interesting to see if any of the studios dare to revoke the keys for a 'high profile' name. Whilst I'm not in the market now, and won't be for some time, when I do eventually get around to loooking at HD stuff I intend asking the retailer for one simple piece of paper and waiting to see how long the manager takes to be summoned !

I'll simply ask for a written contract from the manufacturer and retailer (accepting joint and several liability) accepting that they will repair any problem caused by key revocation without charge to me and without any time limit ! Without that then I don't think it's safe to buy any expensive HD kit that could stop working at any time (at least for new titles) because someone, somewhere else in the world, has cracked it's key.

Failing that I forsee some 'interesting' class action suits against manufacturers and retailers that haven't included the 'feature' in their sales spiel - "Feature, may stop working at any time due to key revocation at the whim of the movie studios", that'll look good on the brochure !

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Re: Wast of Time

"Maybe I misunderstood something - but now that a technique has been developed, won't the new keys be cracked in a matter of hours after release?"

Read the article more closely. In the very first paragraph it says they are "pulling the encryption keys of PC applications associated with the attack."

The techniques to date have relied on weaknesses in the software used to play the discs on a PC. By declaring the compromised software unsafe and only giving new keys when the hole is plugged, the previous cracks just won't work.

But then again, law-abiding users will also be locked out of new releases until the hole is plugged and the update downloaded -- and even today there are people (*gasp*) without broadband.

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Thy without

So what are linux people supposed to do? we can develop drivers for the HD Optical drives but what's the point if we can't play any of the media on the discs?

So long as there are programmers that can't play their own media they legally bought on the operating system they so choose to use the film industry is doom9ed to loose the battle.

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Anonymous Coward

It's great to sit back and watch....

I laugh every time I read about DRM on CDs and DVDs. The studios and big business players have no hope of winning.

Everything that is engineered may, by definition, be un-engineered. The guys and gals who break DRM software should be supported.

Listen up music/movie execs:

Cheap discs = more sales & less piracy

Expensive discs = less sales & more piracy

DRM = less sales & piracy

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Some people talk rubbish...

"all the hard work of crackers and hackers. Without whom none of this would be possible. No PC's, no Internet, no networking"

Firstly, confusing hackers and crackers is a fundamental mistake. Cracking today is essentially aimed at criminality, in either subverting or breaking copyright. It adds nothing to innovation because it can't be legitimately used. Most cracking I've seen today is all directed at some kind of economic gain, such as bypassing the need to purchase software, removing DRM and/or encryption and generally defrauding someone else through property loss.

As far as I know the PC was developed by IBM as a commercial product that didn't rely in any cracking skills. The origins of the Internet go back to the US Department of Defence that again were purely legitimate and had nothing to do with stealing copyright; in fact quite the reverse, Internet RFCs are all open and unrestricted and were not derived from stealing the copyright of others. Most networking is based on either open or proprietary standards where it isn't required to reverse engineer to steal intellectual property.

What we're talking about isn't innovation, it's petty theft from people too cheap to actually purchase the material they want to see; it also funds organised crime when it comes to bootlegging DVDs and movies - I am no friend of a system of copyright that essentially is an extortion racket, however none of us should be so stupid to think that criminals aren't making money from this and we should be looking at reducing the level of overall crime, not encouraging it.

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DRM's Doomed

Surely the whole idea of using software-based DRM is fundamentally flawed?

Even when these DRM systems represent thousands of dedicated man-hours by very clever coders, they're up against billions of man-hours of yet more dedicated work by hackers for whom this is a labour of love, not a job. And statistically, given the world-wide population, some of 'em are going to be even cleverer.

In recent times we've consistently seen the best encryption systems devised by the content-owners and their subcontractors being taken down by smart young guys who are prepared to spend night after night stepping through execution cycles. Seems to me this kind of dedication can't be bought, or matched, by the other side. The crackers are doing it because they like puzzles, and for the enormous kudos that awaits the successful decrypter. Unlike the black hats, these efforts are fairly uniformly supported by the e-populace, who resent the limitations placed on their ownership of content - especially when those limitations are not present in other media, as with Blu-ray v DVD.

Ultimately, DRM is fighting a losing Red Queen battle against an enemy with greater resources and wider support. I realise that Rights Management/Copy Protection was a necessary carrot to entice content owners to put their stuff into the digital domain in the first place, but it's time they wose up and accepted the inevitable limitations of their limits.

CD

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