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Interview with Developer of BackupHDDVD

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago

Encryption 223

An anonymous reader writes "HD DVD and Blu-Ray were supposedly protected by an impenetrable fortress. However a programmer named "muslix64" discovered that this was not the case, and released BackupHDDVD. Now, Slyck.com has an interview with the individual responsible, who provides some interesting insight to his success."

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He is obviously not a native English speaker... (0, Offtopic)

kad77 (805601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743720)

Just an observation.

Probably true, but a bit optimistic all the same (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17743918)

He could e.g. be your average American high-school graduate. You *really* wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Xenophiliac? (0, Offtopic)

kad77 (805601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744102)

Some mod got their undies in a bundle over an inductive inference to muslix64's native language?

Sadly, you're probably correct regarding the US HS point.

I'm glad he's not (4, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743920)

If he was a native English speaker, he'd probably be in a country that has some sort of DMCA-type law. And he'd probably be in custody by now.

Re:He is obviously not a native English speaker... (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743944)

Good, that only narrows it down to five billion people. The MPAA will be sure to track down this scoundrel soon.

Re:He is obviously not a native English speaker... (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744302)

Good, that only narrows it down to five billion people. The MPAA will be sure to track down this scoundrel soon.

And how many of those 5 billion people are named muslix64?

Re:He is obviously not a native English speaker... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744390)

Two, now.

-muslix64

Re:He is obviously not a native English speaker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744514)

Probably none, who would name their kid that?

Who would name his kid that? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745060)

Someone who likes muesli and Intel architecture but isn't so good at spelling?

Re:He is obviously not a native English speaker... (4, Funny)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745336)

Probably none, who would name their kid that?
David Beckham?

Who cares!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744464)

I don't care whether he's a native English speaker, this guy is the shit.

I would suck his dick if I wasn't a lesbian.

I AM a lesbian, you can suck mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744794)

Have at it

Backup is only as good as the media (0, Troll)

AssCork (769414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743728)

I planned to back up my cock and balls so that I would have a nice rigid member to use when I am in my twilight years. Turns out this is not a service that IBM provides.

Allow me to intro myself: I am NOT a Google SHILL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17743748)

Allow me to intro myself: I am NOT a Google SHILL !!

Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (5, Interesting)

toonerh (518351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743876)

Unlike old DVD-Video, HD DVD and BluRay have a bit -- so far not set -- that degrades all output unless it is via an HDCP connection. This means my older Sharp 720p projector will be degraded along with all early adapter's HD gear

This creates a powerful incentive to not just "backup" your HiDef DVD, rather to remove an onerous limitation -- it may violate the DCMA in the USA, but it is morally and legally sound to most of the world.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (4, Interesting)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744138)

Hollywood shouldn't be worried about this hack. They really should be worried about people actually buying these discs. What are the early adopter customers with the "non-secure" HDTVs supposed to do? Throw out their HDTV, and buy a new one so they can watch HD content? It's a real slap in the face of the customers... I hope both formats fail, and a new, non-restrictive format appears.

new, non-restrictive format (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744806)

Dont hold your breath. I dont see them going backwards, only forward, with even more restrictive technology.

Re:new, non-restrictive format (1)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745546)

"Dont hold your breath. I dont see them going backwards, only forward, with even more restrictive technology."

FTA: There are indications now that DRM is being considered for obsolescence.

Also... it appears as though some [slashdot.org] media companies [slashdot.org] are considering abandoning DRM.

And the best part is... (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744266)

This can't be stoped. It's not like the first DeCSS that used stolen Xing keys and could only work for as long as the keys weren't revoked.
This uses the keys specific for the DISC, which can't be changed anymore.

And the best part : In order to decrypt the movie and play it, every player *HAS* to have the volume ke in memory or SIMD register for a short period of time. No matter if players key are revoked, version upgraded, bugs fixed, etc... This technique doesn't rely on any bug that can be patched. It only rely to the fact that, whatever player you choose, at one moment it needs the volume key - which you can then grab and share on the net.

There's no way to patch this.

This is one more proof that the fundamental mechnics of the DRM - ie.: providing both the crypted data and the key in the same place - is flawed. You can't protect a content from the one who bought the disc. If data must be decrypted on the buyer's computer, then nothing cab prevent it from being circumvented.
 

Re:And the best part is... (4, Funny)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744410)

You underestimate the movie companies. The next step is to encrypt the the data on the disc, and throw away all the keys. This way, no one can decrypt it. Not even the pirates! There is one side effect though, no one can watch the movie either. Oh well, it's a fair compromise.

Re:And the best part is... (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744530)

And the best part : In order to decrypt the movie and play it, every player *HAS* to have the volume ke in memory or SIMD register for a short period of time. No matter if players key are revoked, version upgraded, bugs fixed, etc... This technique doesn't rely on any bug that can be patched.

Hence Treacherous Computing. You really think Microsoft and the content industry haven't thought of this? Sooner or later Windows is going to start encrypting memory and running non-"Trusted" programs in a sandbox that prevents them from accessing the hardware directly, specifically to prevent this kind of attack.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744622)

Can you imagine the huge hit on performance that would be? Every memory access has to be accompanied by a decrypt, every memory write accompanied with an encrypt. It will set back PC performance by many years. Plus, it'll have to be done in hardware, which is out of Microsoft's scope.

Re:And the best part is... (3, Informative)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744720)

The hit isn't that bad if you have dedicated encryption hardware, which clearly exists. And Microsoft aren't the only ones in on this thing. AMD, Intel, Infineon, and IBM are all TCG partners.

Re:And the best part is... (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744946)

Linux is already able to encrypt swap [linux.org] and I haven't heard anything about that slowing the computer down too much. Besides, some CPUs already have hardware-accelerated cryptography engines [via.com.tw] anyway. Finally, all new computers will come with a TPM [wikipedia.org] , if they don't already. Although I don't think it's strictly required that the TPM be a cryptography accelerator, it makes sense for it to be.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745730)

Although I don't think it's strictly required that the TPM be a cryptography accelerator, it makes sense for it to be.

I don't think any of the TPMs on the market are accelerators. The TPM is designed to provide secure key storage and system state attestation, not bulk encyryption/decryption. It's designed to securely store the key, bound to a particular system state, and then provide that key to the system to do bulk encryption/decryption on the main CPU.

Re:And the best part is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745790)

umm. .. thats coz noones computer swaps any more..

# free
                          total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 2072344 1981400 90944 0 216544 1102452
-/+ buffers/cache: 662404 1409940
Swap: 2097144 540 2096604

wow.. I bet those 540 bytes sure took a long time to encrypt...

especially for editing 4kb text files containing all yer seekrits.

Russian dolls. (4, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744774)

running non-"Trusted" programs in a sandbox that prevents them from accessing the hardware directly, specifically to prevent this kind of attack.


Yes, and how Windows it self will know that it isn't running inside a "simulated" trusted computer (the TC chip is virtual and part of the emulator) running inside an actual regular computer (with no chip to prevent you from running whatever you want ?) ...or running with a root kit hidden it self inside, like the Sony's one ? Treacherous Computing may work on the paper, but Microsoft isn't exactly known for perfect implementation of security tools. Root kits WILL be available.

For this to work you actually need TC-enabled computers. There aren't currently enough of them.
So either Microsoft pisses of its customers with something like "HD DVD & BD can only played on Windows Vista running on special mother boards. The rest of 80% of you just can't play them at all" (and currently customers are already pissed enough because they can't always play in full HD when they don't have display systems that *are* getting popular those days). Or either microsofts accepts to let some player run outside it's protected models and you don't even need a virtual machine or root kit to extract the needed data from memory.

As said by another /.er : stoping to provide the decryption key is the only way to avoid circumventing protection... but won't be implemented for very obvious reasons.

Re:Russian dolls. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745028)

Yes, and how Windows it self will know that it isn't running inside a "simulated" trusted computer (the TC chip is virtual and part of the emulator)

Unless I'm mistaken, the TPM is itself is signed. Windows can check that to figure out whether the TPM it thinks exists really does or not. Or in other words, to "simulate" a TPM you need to get the Trusted Computing Group's private key.

For this to work you actually need TC-enabled computers. There aren't currently enough of them. So either Microsoft pisses of its customers with something like "HD DVD & BD can only played on Windows Vista running on special mother boards.

To be honest, that's exactly what I was expecting to happen -- I'm really surprised that PC HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players have already been allowed to exist.

LATENT TPC (2, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745040)

How do you know that Intel has not been putting a TPC module in every CPU for the last five years? They've had this ring architecture for a decade, could there not be one more ring they never told us about? in five more years they could turn it on and surprise! every computer less than a decade old is TPC complient. The remaineder still run but can't use the new OS or must run in a reduced privledge mode.

Re:LATENT TPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745520)

That is the most unlikely thing I have ever heard of. You are an idiot, and should cease communicating.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744896)

So by the time we're all being screwed over by the TC in Vienna (IIRC), we'll have how many other dozens of operating systems that can run the exact same hack without worrying about this sandboxing?

I think it's a horrible idea too, but I think that Hollywood might have finally realized by the time that something like you suggest could happen that DRM is pointless and serves no purpose other than to screw over customers - especially their early adopters, who they make a ton of money off. Signs are pointing to 2007 being the death of DRM - I think it's optimistic, but certainly before 2012 or so.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745100)

So by the time we're all being screwed over by the TC in Vienna (IIRC), we'll have how many other dozens of operating systems that can run the exact same hack without worrying about this sandboxing?

Theoretically, none: Vienna and whatever version of Mac OS exists then will both be "Trusted[sic]," and all Free Software operating systems won't have legal HD disc playback software.

I think it's a horrible idea too, but I think that Hollywood might have finally realized by the time that something like you suggest could happen that DRM is pointless and serves no purpose other than to screw over customers...

Well, we can always hope. On the bright side, since the MPAA jumped the gun by allowing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs to be played on non-"Trusted[sic]" systems already, we won't really be entirely screwed until the next generation of "Ultra HD" media comes out.

Re:And the best part is... (2, Interesting)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744852)

And the best part : In order to decrypt the movie and play it, every player *HAS* to have the volume ke in memory or SIMD register for a short period of time.

Which is why Windows Vista adds a special type of processes: "protected processes": You can't look at the memory of those processes, you can't debug them, you can't do *anything* to them. Not even the antivirus software can look into them. And because the kernel can't load unsigned drivers, you can't do kernel tricks to jump the protections. Microsoft will use it to "protect" the processes that handle the DRM data or the final video. Not even the administrators can start them, your binary must be "microsoft certified" in order to get that spcial "protected process" flag.

(And yes: if hackers manage to run protected processes without getting a certificate from microsoft, the windows platform will get some funny viruses that can't be deleted by AV software)

I'll bet... (2, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745016)

It seems likely to me that MS has a trick to allow protected processes to be debugged. It's either a secret mode of Vista, or they have debug builds of Vista that allow this type of snooping to take place.

I mean, in the perfect world, you develop non-protected, and then you turn it into a protected process once it's been debugged. But back in the real world, certain programs will break and you'll only be able to debug in "protected" mode.

If Hollywood is bright, they'll just ignore this. The DVD is certainly exploitable (in fact, in hindsight, it was trivial), but last I checked they make a ton of movies from selling DVD's. I fail to see this is any different.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745402)

And because the kernel can't load unsigned drivers...

Sure it can. You just need to tell it to, and they don't make that especially easy.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745606)

In 64-bit Vista, you have to enable this functionality at boot. You cannot permanently enable it (i.e. every time you reboot, you have to re-select that option) and I'm sure that the 'protected' software won't run in this mode.

Re:And the best part is... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745542)

So then we'll just run the programs in WINE or ReactOS or something (which would probably work perfectly by the time a Windows OS came out that enforced that).

Re:And the best part is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745562)

This uses the keys specific for the DISC, which can't be changed anymore.

Can't they just release a v1.1 encrypted with a different key for the next print run? That'll get broken as well, of course...

Re:And the best part is... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745622)

This can't be stoped. It's not like the first DeCSS that used stolen Xing keys and could only work for as long as the keys weren't revoked.
This uses the keys specific for the DISC, which can't be changed anymore.


But they can minimize the damage. They can revoke the PC HD-DVD player, and then republish the movies with a new title key. That way the only compromised content is the few thousand HD-DVDs that have been sold for those titles so far.

If they really want to stop this in the future, they just revoke all PC HD-DVD players that don't use some sort of hardware security (like, say a PCMCIA add-on card for your laptop, HW support in your video card, etc) to do the key management and decryption. You might think that would slow down the adoption of HD-DVD (not being able to play it on a PC) but I think a lack of studio content has slowed adoption a lot more than lack of players - tighter security might give the studios more confidence to start publishing more movies...

What it does and doesn't do (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744344)

As I understand this it extracts the title or volume key from the PC memory. One could have gone after the upstream player keys since they are in memory too but then if they ever figured out what player you were using from the crack then all future titles and disks would remove that player key. That would of course break every player with that key, but it's not so bad with PC players as it would be with physical players, since the company with the broken player could offer a downloadable software upgrade. In any case that's moot for now since it's the title key that's being extracted from memory.

Now at some point the hddvd autorities will figure out which one of these PC players that is exposing the title key to attack. At that point the software will be upgraded to better obscure the title key. While in principle the title key will still be lurking in memory somewhere they can probably figure out a way of making is really hard to extract. e.g. self modifying code. Non determinsistic algorithms, and putting parts of it inside protected areas of Vista's kernel. This will make it so all future players will have a difficult time being exploited to grab the title key. I suspect they can pull this off even though it will be a moving target. Apple for example has managed to keep Hymm broken, and it uses the same attack.

But that does not solve the problem. Those old players will still exist and run. So they can still be used to extract the title keys. The only way they can beat this is if there is some way they can cause those old players to break on new movies. How might they do this?

Well here's an approach. just mangle the title key or move its location on disk. Now all the new players are told how to unmangle so they can play the disks, and of course they can still play the old unmangled disks. The people screwed by this are all the people who own exisisting DVD players. these are now broken.

But can they be upgraded? for example were they smart enough to allow the DVD players the ability to be reprogramed in firmware. Perhaps for example they could release some DVD that could be poped in the machine and it would reflash the firmware. That woul dmake this kind of breakage less painful to fix. Not painless however after millions of these are deployed. But at this stage pretty doable.

If they were smart they'd shut the whole thing down now when there's too few players in the wild to matter. change the system to make the title keys stealthier, then start over.

Ah here's something they can do... (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745200)

Actually I'm wrong. here's how they can fix their problem fairly well.

Those old players that arebeingused to extract the title key can have their player keys revoked. That will bust some limited number of players too. Now without those player keys the old players cant decode the title keys. So they have to migrate to new players. If those players are stealthier then they may not be able to figure out how to extract the title keys.

Finally what if the new players were to get some of their executables right off of the DVD itself. Then they could make it very difficult to have a universal method for subvering the player to get the title key.

Re:What it does and doesn't do (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745750)

There is no 'making the keys stealthier and starting over'. The problem with this sort of DRM, as has been noted many, many times, is that the decryption key and the cyphertext are distributed to the end-user. It doesn't matter how obfuscated they make it--if it can be read by the PC, it can be extracted by the PC.

Trusted computing may make this harder--I'm not sure whether it will make it impossible, however.

I think the reason Hymm failed is because DVD-Jon stopped working on breaking iTunes DRM in that direction. The same techniques should still be possible to replicate, however there are really only a handful of people in the world with the knowledge and ability to do that, and there are apparently NO people with the knowledge, ability, and drive. Otherwise, Hymm would work.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744474)

I'm not sure where you get that idea, because I'm definitely not seeing any degradation on my 360's HD-DVD player over component at 1080i.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744556)

I've been wondering about this - it may be four times the number of pixels, but how much would you actually notice the resolution change from 1920x1080 to 960x540 (the purported penalty resolution of HDCP) when playing an HD-encoded film on an average-sized HDTV?

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744838)

Well, I'd be the last person to ask since I have a 42" Westinghouse LCD.

What I would most likely notice is scaling artifacts.

If there's still an "analog hole" then I'll be plenty happy with 1080i over component or 1080p over VGA.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744982)

With all due respect, I don't think it's even possible to get scaling artifacts on an exact resize like that, which is mostly why I asked my question in the first place. All you would have to do to get from 1920x1080 to 960x540 is preserve 1/4th of the pixels in the image. It's still better quality than DVD video, and especially so if the new video encoding that HD-DVD and Blu-ray use is more efficient.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744854)

Depends on the type of HDTV. If it's a CRT, sure, you probably won't notice much of a difference. With an LCD on the other hand, the difference is immediately noticeable, even on a modest sized display.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

ivan_13013 (17447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744652)

The mandatory player quality degradation occurs over non-HDCP compliant *digital* (DVI/HDMI) connections. They don't deem it necessary to lower the rez for analog (Component) connections.

The main purpose of this is apparently to make it a pain in the ass to play movies, so that consumers like me will get their hidef entertainment from satellite TV and the internet, rather than their stupid discs and format-crippled players. Yay!

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745632)

1080i can be losslessly shrunk to be 540p (or near-losslessly to 538p), the resolution that you would get from the degredation. So, unless your source material isn't very active, the video quality is basically the same.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745792)

Note the 'so far not set' part of your parent's post. The bit to degrade if HDCP is not present exists in the specification and on every disc, but right now it is set to 0. Once they start producing discs with that bit set to 1 (after the format is more standardized and more people have committed to it) they will start setting the bit and you will see the degraded signal.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744602)

The bit doesnt degrade anything it tells the playback software to degrade the picture quality.. If the software is written to not do anything ,then the signal is 100%.. That will probably be the first cracks, patching the software playback apps or firmware in dvd players to no longer do this degradation... something that is far eaqsier than cracking encryption.

I cant wait for the anyhd-dvd and anybluray programs to be released so we can get around the useless protections and into the product we actually purchased.

Re:Degrading Quality May Boost Cracking (2, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744960)

The original poster was incorrect in his explanation. The "bit" is implemented in the software, not in the disc. In Windows Vista, Microsoft is calling it the "tilt switch". Any attempt to "subvert" the Protected Media Path is supposed to flip the bit, causing degradation of the signal. This means things like "unsigned drivers" or home-grown ripper type activity.

Investment in DRM vs. Investment to crack (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17743916)

Anyone have a cost estimate for producing the AACS DRM? I'm guessing the crack didn't cost nearly as much.

Mij

Re:Investment in DRM vs. Investment to crack (3, Funny)

billster0808 (739783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744352)

I don't know how much it cost to create, but the cost to crack it was just 8 days of work, and probably a case or 2 of Mt. Dew.

Re:Investment in DRM vs. Investment to crack (2, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744700)

I'd be willing to bet that the cost to produce AACS was pretty high in the grand scheme of things. AACS was created by a consortium consisting of [aacsla.com] IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Disney, and Warner Brothers. Granted that huge corporations like those can afford to throw tons of money and resources at a project like AACS, but the bottom line is that it probably cost a pretty penny. Consider the person-hours involved in just high level meetings among all those companies to hash out the AACS specification. If you get one person from each of those 8 companies to spend one full week of work (assuming 8 hour days) just on hammering out the specification then you're talking about 320 person-hours. Assuming those people have average annual salaries of $80,000 (SWAG [urbandictionary.com] ) and work 40 hour weeks then that's over $1500 a week for their salaries, or $38/hour. 320 person-hours at $38/hour equates to $12,160.

Now obviously I'm pulling all these numbers out of you-know-where, but the point is that these companies invested a lot of manpower and a lot of time to create AACS. It may not seem like a lot to their respective bottom lines, but it does add up to a lot of salaries paid specifically on AACS, and most likely a lot of investment in hardware for development, testing, etc. It certianly wouldn't have been an insignificant ammount if you could do a full audit of all their books. I'd say (another SWAG) that the total cost of developing and implementing AACS would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000,000 when you include hardware & software design/development as well as the salaries, etc. of the people involved.

Re:Investment in DRM vs. Investment to crack (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744762)

The cost, if he gets sued/arrested, will probably be commensurate with development costs- if the movie industry has it their way.

Server Bombed (5, Informative)

FST (766202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743936)

Well, the server is being bombed now. Here's the text from the page if you don't want to wait for 5 minutes per sentence.

The next generation of optical disc technology holds the promise to change the way we interact with and store digital media. Perhaps the most exciting change is the arrival of High Definition (HD) video, with its glorious 1920x1080 pixel resolution. It's a quantum leap forward in terms of watching digital content, as its vast resolution reveals a quality never seen before in such fine detail.

Because of the rapid escalation of digital file-sharing - especially of video files - Hollywood has been working around the clock to protect HD content. This is especially relevant for one of its primary delivery mechanisms - HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs. These next generation discs, with capacities of 30 gigabytes and 50 gigabytes respectively, have their content protected with an array of DRM (Digital Rights Management.) Both are protected with a scheme called AACS, or Advanced Access Content System. This DRM is a great leap forward compared to the weak CSS, or Content Scrambling System, that currently "protects" DVDs. Thanks to Fox, Blu-Ray has an additional layer of protection, called BD+, although most discs have yet to support this protection.

Although Hollywood has constructed enough DRM architecture to rival the Pyramid of Giza, it has long been suspected that it would be only a matter of time before HD DVD and Blu-Ray content protection were compromised. Convinced the golden DRM egg had been laid, it seemed that nothing could penetrate the great AACS wall. And to this day, that great wall still stands.

But why crash through the main gates of Constantinople when you can just pick the lock of a long forgotten rear entrance?

On December 26, 2006, a member of the Doom9.com forums named muslix64 introduced himself as circumventing the content protection - not the copy protection - of HD DVD. Additionally, he made available an open source program named BackupHDDDVD. At the time, this program was a command line program that bypassed the content protection - providing the individual successfully obtained the title and volume keys associated with the HD DVD. Once the individual has the keys, the AACS protection can be sidestepped, and the HD movie content can be extracted. According to muslix64, it took all of eight days to successfully circumvent HD DVD content protection.

Much of the more difficult work, such as extracting the keys, has been alleviated as the once encrypted information has proliferated online. To understand where this stunning turn of events is heading, Slyck.com spoke with muslix64, who agreed to a PM (private message) interview.

The mainstream media tends to have many labels for you, i.e. hacker, cracker, pirate, etc., in response to your efforts. What would you call yourself and what would you label your efforts?

I'm just an upset customer. My efforts can be called "fair use enforcement"!

What motivated you to help circumvent the content protection scheme associated with HD DVD and Blu-Ray?

With the HD-DVD, I wasn't able to play my movie on my non-HDCP HD monitor. Not being able to play a movie that I have paid for, because some executive in Hollywood decided I cannot, made me mad...

After the HD-DVD crack, I realized that things where "unbalanced" by having just one format cracked, so I did Blu-Ray too.

Explain how decrypting the device and volume keys are critical to your success. Could you explain the difference between the two?

The device keys, are the keys associated to the player.

The volume key, is the key associated to the movie.

I don't care about device keys. I do care about volume keys, because by using volume keys instead of devices keys, I totally bypass the revocation system. There is no "volume key revocation". There is content revocation, but I really doubt they will ever use it. If you use device keys, they can revoke them. Having the volume key means that you can decrypt title's keys (or CPS Unit key in the case of Blu-ray) and then you can decrypt the media file without problem.

I was shocked to realize the volume key was not protected in memory!

Explain how a movie studio could prevent the general public from taking advantage of pirated HD movies, such as ones currently available via Usenet and BitTorrent. For example, if an individual were to download "Serenity", and play it successfully on his or her Power DVD player - and never updated the software - would it be immune from any Hollywood counterattack?

Yes, immune. If the movie is decrypted there is nothing you can do! Or you can use open-source player, like VideoLan, if a player like PowerDVD become more restrictive about playing decrypted movies.

There appears to be some confusion to the extent and specifics of your success. Explain what content protection has been compromised, and what content protection is still intact?

There is no easy answer but, IMHO, AACS is totally busted. The only thing I can see for now to prevent the attack I have described is to put different keys on every disc! It will cost a fortune for the manufacturing, so I'm not sure they will go that way...

People say I have not broken AACS, but players. But players are part of this system! And a system is only as strong as his weakest link. Even if players become more secure, key extraction will always be possible.

I know many people of the industry try to cover up this breach, by saying I have only poked a tiny hole in AACS, but it is more serious than that. Only the future will tell.

The AACS security layer is almost the same for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray, so they are both busted for good.

The only extra security layer is for the Blu-ray format, and it's called BD+. BD+ is not there yet, and I don't know when it will be. May be my "exploits" will speed up the adoption of BD+, we will see...

You've recently helped defeat Blu-Ray's content protection as well. What were the similarities/differences in defeating this copy protection scheme?

Almost the same. I use the same known-plaintext attack for both formats. But media format and encryption are slightly different. Because I already had experience with the HD-DVD, it was really easy for Blu-Ray.

What are your ultimate goals? Do you feel that most - if not all - of the content protect will be ultimately defeated?

If you can play it, you can decrypt it! There is nothing you can do about it. The only thing they can try is to slow people down.

To what extent do you feel you can bring your efforts to the mainstream? Do you believe Hollywood's content protect will rendered so impotent that HDDVD Backup (or a similar device) will be utilized to the same extent as DVD Decrypter or DVD Shrink?

Probably. There are multiple scenarios here. You can write a fully automated decrypter with stolen player keys, but they will revoke the keys.

Anyways, even if they do key revocation, the revocation process will be very slow. It would take at least one month (or more) between revoking the player and new version of movies with the revocation in stores.

The reaction time of the community will be way faster than the reaction time of the industry.

Explain the differences between DeCSS and your efforts.

I really respect the work of DVD Jon and his friends (he was not alone!) They do more than me. They had to reverse a cipher! I didn't have to reverse anything. So technically speaking, it was easier to bypass AACS than CSS.

To what extent is your work a community effort? Do you feel that without the community's input, we would be having this conversation today?

I was pretty much alone to do the HD-DVD exploit. But I receive a lot of help with the Blu-ray, thanks Janvitos!

My 2 programs are only "proof of concept" software. Right now, the community's contribution is vital. They will bring this software to higher level. I just tell people it was possible and I made the demonstration.

What PC based DVD players are currently compatible with defeated HD movies (please distinguish which players are compatible with HD DVD and/or Blu-Ray)?

I don't want to give specific names but I can tell you they are all vulnerable [to a] different extent.

Let's look into the crystal ball. When would you say people will be able to decrypt, burn, and play HD movies (whether HD DVD or Blu-Ray) on their stand alone player?

I think they are already doing it right now! I have seen post of people claiming they did that on both format...But I cannot confirm it.

Do you see Microsoft Vista's implementation of HDCP being an obstacle to playing compromised HD movies in high definition?

No. To my understanding, this limitation is enforced in the player! So if you use an open-source player, like VideoLan, there is no problem. Also, a decrypted movie [doesn't] have this limitation if you have disabled the security flags.

The limitation with Vista seems more on the process and memory protection. But I cannot comment on that, I don't know Vista.

Do you see AACS encryption being defeated in the near future?

If you're talking about AES itself (the crypto algorithm), I don't think it will be cracked anytime soon, but we never know. May be someone will find another hole, or another way to attack AACS. You cannot attack the crypto itself, you have to attack the protocol or the procedure. When will we find another way around AACS? No idea...

If studios begin revoking encryption keys, do you believe this will pose a significant threat to your progress or overall goals?

Players will become more and more secure. It will slow me down, but it won't prevent key extraction in the long term.

Does the defeat of HD DVD automatically mean a victory for Blu-Ray in the marketplace, or will Blu-Ray be just as vulnerable to the community's efforts?

The less secure the format, the more people will buy. I know a lot of people will disagree with that, but that's my opinion. Right now, both format are equally vulnerable. We have to wait the introduction of BD+ to see if it is really that secure...

In the long run, Blu-ray seems more secure (because of BD+) and now is more expensive. So HD-DVD wins!

Describe a potential Hollywood counterattack, and how the community would repulse such an offensive?

Making the keys unique per disc will be the perfect counterattack. So we have to start another attack by stealing player's key and doing the whole AACS decryption. Then the community will win because they have a faster response time to the revocation than the industry.

Who do you feel most benefits from your work, and who stands to lose the most?

The consumers will benefit. I hope it will enforce fair use, not piracy. Of course pirates will use this technique, and they already did...

Studios will lose more money with mass counterfeiting than file or key exchange on the net.

Considering the legal problems Jon Lech Johansen endured, are you at all concerned about the repercussions of your work?

I'm really concern about that. So I will stay put for a while, and watch the show. When the first BD+ movie [comes] out, I will wake up!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I don't think I'm the first who did it. They are probably a lot of people who did that before me, but they keep it secret.

I was disappointed to realize, that BD+ (the other security layer of Blu-ray) was not there yet. It would have been a great challenge! AACS was not a challenge at all...

I'm not the smart guy around; they are just careless about security.

Editor's note: One of the more important lessons muslix64 probably best exemplifies is the enormous delayed reaction of the entertainment industry. Napster was released in 1999, and to this day the music industry continues to struggle against free file-sharing. There are indications now that DRM is being considered for obsolescence. With muslix64's work, the amount of work required to keep up with the community oriented efforts may simply be impossible to maintain.

Re:Server Bombed (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744164)

After the HD-DVD crack, I realized that things where "unbalanced" by having just one format cracked, so I did Blu-Ray too.


I am sure Sony will feel very thankful that they are not forgotten :]

Re:Server Bombed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744408)

Well, the server is being bombed now. Here's the text from the page if you don't want to wait for 5 minutes per sentence.


The server seems fine to me.

If you really are trying to help your fellow slashdotters - and not just karma whoring - try posting AC next time.

Re:Server Bombed (1)

Aeon Infinitus (1038562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745122)

That's a great article. We already know that no matter what approach is used it will ultimately end up cracked. And I think he's right that the more open the software, the easier it is to use. I know I've purchased MANY CDs after downloading and listening to music. Media outlets just need to catch up with the times and stop struggling against something futile. ;)

AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (5, Funny)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17743984)

So technically speaking, it was easier to bypass AACS than CSS.
Oh, the irony. It figures that the more complicated the DRM, the easier it is to crack.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (5, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744020)

Well, he didn't crack it in the same way. With DECSS, you can crack any disk by just putting it in a drive and running the program. With the AACS crack, you have to run some other player and extract the title key out of memory, probably by using a debugger or something. The CSS crack was harder because they actually cracked every disk, and reversed the encryption. The AACS crack doesn't accomplish the same thing. Although you can still decrypt disks, you can't just make program that does it automatically.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744152)

Ya, perhaps sidestep is a better term than crack. In all likelihood the cryptosystem itself can't be broken, it's AES. While we can never say for certain there's not an unknown weakness in a system, AES is one of the most studied ones out there and thus far it remains secure enough to use for classified data.

So, like the author said, you don't attack it you go around it. Obviously if the movie is being played back at some point things are being decrypted and you can get your hands on that key. That's precisely what he does. The player uses its key to decrypt the key that the volume is encrypted with. He then nabs that key and uses it to decrypt the volume.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (5, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744312)

And if that doesn't work, I'll put an HD video camera in a dark box with a 52" HD Plasma and hit the record button.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744446)

Yeah, that picture ought to look great...on a 5 inch black and white screen.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744936)

Mpeg4 looks like blocky pixelated ass yet it is extremely popular for file sharing.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744818)

If you are going to do that, why don't you just record the down-rezed to 480p content coming out of it? That's the same resolution as today's dvd and will look a million times better than a camcorder on a tripod.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745102)

> Ya, perhaps sidestep is a better term than crack. In all likelihood the cryptosystem itself can't be broken, it's AES. While we can never say for certain there's not an unknown weakness in a system, AES is one of the most studied ones out there and thus far it remains secure enough to use for classified data.

AES is fine, but the key management of their overall system isn't. If we can get our hands on enough player keys, we can subvert the master key authority. I believe it will take something on the order of 42 player keys, at most, but you should read the analysis someone published a while back instead of taking my word for it. I believe it can be found via Google.

Don't attack the crypto... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745214)

Ya, perhaps sidestep is a better term than crack. In all likelihood the cryptosystem itself can't be broken, it's AES.

Like they say: you don't attack the cryptography. You attack how it's used.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744668)

It's the whole classic problem of the fact that with these discs, you basically have to include the encryption key on the disc. So the licensed player has to know where to find it. At some point, it has to be in memory to decrypt the disc. So, since you have both the encrypted data and the key used to decrypt it, you can have at the unencrypted data all you want.

No matter how you slice it, all DRM can be cracked because the user's computer, at some point, has the encryption key in memory. That is, until Trusted Computing is made mandatory and getting at the keys in memory will be impossible because the 'Trusted Computing' stuff won't let you at it. :)

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744812)

Although you can still decrypt disks, you can't just make program that does it automatically.
Funny, that's what's being worked on right now buy guys over at the Doom9 Forum; although, at the moment, you do still have to have a (broken) HD-DVD player to grab the Vuk from memory.

I have posted a modified version of BackupHDDDVD . . . [that] can also get it's own keys from memory if WinDVD is playing. . . If they select the memory option, they are prompted to press ENTER when WinDVD is playing. Once the memory dump is completed, the user is free to close WinDVD and the key is retrieved automatically.
Obviously, they're still working on cleaning things up and fixing some problems with the decryption process on certain HD-DVD's, but it's getting there, slowly but surely. :)

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744536)

I don't know why they bother. CSS was "easy" because the encryption didn't change, so once you'd broken it, it was done, unless they wanted to break the standard.

With AACS they "learned" something and used much beefier encryption, and mutable keys...Which makes the keys vulnerable. Some bright boy notices this, breaks the weak security on the keys, and voila! The system, while not broken, is seriously compromised.

It's all pointless though. The companies pushing the DRM have far fewer resources than the people who want to view the content, and the content itself cannot be truly secured because it's meant to be viewed! So they're just throwing away money, and, as Muselix64 himself cogently pointed out in the "interview", the turnaround for fixes from the companies is so long, that there is effectively no way they can stay ahead of the crackers.

Re:AACS Easier to Crack Than CSS (2, Funny)

rmckeethen (130580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745478)

Obligatory Star Trek quote:

"The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

--Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, Star Trak III

The best thing he could do now. (1)

BlahSnarto (45250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744000)


Is disappear.

Because the shit they pulled with others who have
come out with a exploit / hack (decrypting encrypted PDF's to decss)
have gotten it in the pooper :( ..

Like a dog chasing it's own tail (5, Insightful)

bcmbyte (996126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744052)

It sure seems to me that the media companies chasing the people finding holes in their impenetrable fortress' is much like a dog that chases his own tail. Every once in a while he gets it, but then it hurts and he lets go, and then he off again chasing his tail. The time and money they spend protecting their stuff might be better spend on an ad campaign, or better yet drop the prices of the content so that maybe, just maybe they will sell a few more..

Media Industry just can't get anything right... (1)

Disharmony2012 (998431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744082)

It seems DRM is on the way out? I wonder how easy it will be to circumvent other DRM aside from various media formats...

Interview Joe Lieberman: BushCo's Sock Puppet +1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744204)

Based on Joe Lieberman's [whitehouse.org] response to my previous letter, I believe it's safe to say that Lieberman's pals should reevaluate their cherished assumptions about extremism. Before I launch into my rant, permit me the prelude caveat that Lieberman's most progressive idea is to foist the most poisonously false and destructive myths imaginable upon us. If that sounds progressive to you, you must be facing the wrong way. I am not suggesting government censorship of Lieberman's foolish recommendations. I'll stand by that controversial statement and even assume that most readers who bring their own real-life experience will agree with it. At a bare minimum, this is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, where the state would be eager to put flagitious, indecent casuists on the federal payroll. Not yet, at least. But if my memory serves me correctly, Lieberman is so domineering, I could hide in a closet. I submit that everyone should stop and mull that assertion. Then, you'll understand why Lieberman's zingers are uniformly riddled by an unbelievable degree of ignorance. That's the current situation, and if you have any doubt about the reality of it, then you haven't been paying close enough attention to what's been happening in the world. All Lieberman does is inspire soulless screeds. But you knew that already. So let me add that in public, Lieberman vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, Lieberman never fails to endorse a complete system of leadership by mobocracy. Mindless sideshow barkers serve as the priests in his cult of rummy hooliganism. These "priests" spend their days basking in Lieberman's reflected glory, pausing only when Lieberman instructs them to pander to our worst fears. What could be more violent? It is bootless to speculate on the matter, but it should be noted that certain facts are clear. For instance, Lieberman's allegations are like a Hydra. They continually acquire new heads and new strength. The only way to stunt their growth is to express our concerns about his sick analects. The only way to destroy his Hydra entirely is to provide more people with the knowledge that some of Lieberman's jibes raise important questions about future social interactions and their relationship to civil liberties. Am I being unduly harsh for writing that? I think not. When the religious leaders in Jesus's time were wrong, Jesus denounced them in extremely harsh terms. So why shouldn't I, too, use extremely harsh terms to indicate that Lieberman expresses insufficient concern about the ozone layer, the Bhopal tragedy, and lesbian theater?

Should someone think that I am saying too much, I am not saying too much, but much too little. For someone just showed me a memo supposedly written by Lieberman. The memo spells out his plans to mold your mind and have you see the world not as it is, but as he wants you to see it. If this memo is authentic, it tells us that we've all heard Lieberman yammer and whine about how he's being scapegoated again, the poor dear. We could opt to sit back and let him commit confrontational, in-your-face acts of violence, intimidation, and incivility. Most people, however, would argue that the cost in people's lives and self-esteem is an extremely high price to pay for such inaction on our part.

Until recently, Lieberman's ideals have gone unnoticed and unanalyzed. End of story. Actually, I should add that he has, on a number of occasions, expressed a desire to bring about a wonderland of mysticism. On all of these occasions, I submitted to the advice of my friends, who assured me that this is not wild speculation. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is documented fact. But don't despair. Rather, take comfort in the knowledge that Lieberman's slaves are nothing more than reprehensible flakes. That concept can be extended, mutatis mutandis, to the way that if the past is any indication of the future, he will once again attempt to control your bank account, your employment, your personal safety, and your mind. Some logorrheic fault-finders are actually considering helping Lieberman violate the basic tenets of journalism and scholarship. How quickly such people forget that they were lied to, made fun of, and ridiculed by Lieberman on numerous occasions. If he wants to deny both our individual and collective responsibility to live in harmony with each other and the world, fine. Just don't make me burst into tears while he's at it.

Viewing all this from a higher vantage point, we can see that there may be nothing we can do to prevent Lieberman from making good on his word to exercise both subtlety and thoroughness in managing both the news and the entertainment that gets presented to us. When we compare this disturbing conclusion to the comforting picture purveyed by his devotees, we experience psychological stress or "cognitive dissonance". Our only recourse is to question Lieberman's authority. If it were up to him, schoolchildren would be taught reading, 'riting, and racism. You may not be aware of this, but given the amount of misinformation that Lieberman is circulating, I must certainly point out that his half-measures are a mere cavil, a mere scarecrow, one of the last shifts of a desperate and dying cause.

The picture I am presenting need not be confined to Lieberman's op-ed pieces. It applies to everything he says and does. We can't stop Lieberman overnight. It takes time, patience and experience to guide the world into an age of peace, justice, and solidarity. It has long been obvious to attentive observers that he thinks nothing of violating the spirit of an indigenous people whose art and songs and way of life are proof that he wouldn't be able to elevate deluded, pernicious scofflaws to the sublime if he were working on a level playing field. But did you know that demagogism is the driving force behind Lieberman's mottos? Lieberman doesn't want you to know that because he is all too typical of the sort of heinous undesirables who waste everyone else's time. Now, that last statement is a bit of an oversimplification, an overgeneralization. But it is nevertheless substantially true.

Anyone who hasn't been living in a cave with his eyes shut and his ears plugged knows that my current plan is to reverse the devolutionary course Lieberman has set for us. Yes, he will draw upon the most powerful fires of Hell to tear that plan asunder, but when I first became aware of his covert invasion into our thought processes, all I could think was how the impact of his ornery, myopic ploys is exactly that predicted by the Book of Revelation. Evil will preside over the land. Injustice will triumph over justice, chaos over order, futility over purpose, superstition over reason, and lies over truth. Only when humanity experiences this Hell on Earth will it fully appreciate that Lieberman is an interesting character. On the one hand, he likes to pit people against each other. But on the other hand, he thinks we want him to subject us to the crazy, oleaginous yapping of froward, audacious derelicts. Excuse me, but maybe some of the facts I'm about to present may seem shocking. This they certainly are. However, he has the nerve to call those of us who suggest the kind of politics and policies that are needed to restore good sense to this important debate "conspiracy theorists". No, we're "conspiracy revealers" because we reveal that this is not the place to develop that subject. It demands many pages of analysis, which I can't spare in this letter. Instead, I'll just state the key point, which is that there will be public outrage if Lieberman tries to take credit for others' accomplishments. Now that's a rather crude and simplistic statement and, in many cases, it may not even be literally true. But there is a sense in which it is generally true, a sense in which it unquestionably expresses how his strictures cannot stand on their own merit. That's why they're dependent on elaborate artifices and explanatory stories to convince us that the ancient Egyptians used psychic powers to build the pyramids. Lieberman is the picture of the insane person on the street, babbling to a tree, a wall, or a cloud, which cannot and does not respond to his generalizations. He deeply believes that the laws of nature don't apply to him. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the truth is very simple: You may be worried that Lieberman will reconstitute society on the basis of arrested development and envious malevolence within a short period of time. If so, then I share your misgivings. But let's not worry about that now. Instead, let's discuss my observation that Lieberman maintains that either he never engages in imprudent, shambolic, or malignant politics or that our unalienable rights are merely privileges that he can dole out or retract. Lieberman denies any other possibility. The space remaining in this letter will not suffice even to enumerate the ways in which Lieberman has tried to replace our timeless traditions with his maledicent ones. How dare he criticize my values when his are so obviously dangerous? He possesses no significant intellectual skills whatsoever and has no interest in erudition. Heck, he can't even spell or define "erudition", much less achieve it. I don't mean to condemn anyone's beliefs, but if Lieberman thinks his expedients represent progress, he should rethink his definition of progress.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why Lieberman wants to relabel millions of people as "blathering". Maybe it's because he plans to understate the negative impact of onanism. Some deep void within Lieberman makes it necessary for him to grasp at straws, trying to find increasingly benighted ways to condone universal oppression. From this anecdotal evidence, I would argue that Lieberman's dupes are tools. Like a hammer or an axe, they are not inherently evil or destructive. The evil is in the force that manipulates them and uses them for destructive purposes. That evil is Joe Lieberman, who wants nothing less than to create a new cottage industry around his eccentric form of credentialism.

Although I respect Lieberman's right to free speech just as I respect it for sententious vendors of collectivism, humorless deadbeats, and callous gaberlunzies, to say that ethical responsibility is merely a trammel of earthbound mortals and should not be required of a demigod like him is gin-swilling nonsense and untrue to boot. For those of you out there who don't know what I'm talking about, let me give you a quick explanation: Lieberman can't possibly believe that he is a tireless protector of civil rights and civil liberties for all people. He's gormless, but he's not that gormless. Do you think I'm the only one who wants to give peace a chance? I assure you, I am not. But he should work with us, not step in at the eleventh hour and hog all the glory.

I feel funny having to tell readers whom I presume are adults that we can't let doctrinaire, craven paranoiacs ram Lieberman's suggestions down our throats. I bring that up solely to emphasize that Lieberman has been trying hard to protect what has become a lucrative racket for him. Unfortunately, that lucrative racket has a hard-to-overlook consequence: it will defile the present and destroy the future before you know it.

Perhaps Lieberman received his information (or rather, misinformation) from late-night television programs and "B" movies. All this aside, I no longer believe that trends like family breakdown, promiscuity, and violence are random events. Not only are they explicitly glorified and promoted by Lieberman's corrupt views, but I have reason to believe that he is about to reopen wounds that seem scarcely healed. I pray that I'm wrong, of course, because the outcome could be devastating. Nevertheless, the indications are there that if nonrepresentationalism were an Olympic sport, Lieberman would clinch the gold medal. Lieberman recently stated that anyone who resists him deserves to be crushed. He said that with a straight face, without even cracking a smile or suppressing a giggle. He said it as if he meant it. That's scary, because he once tried to mold the mind of virtually every citizen -- young or old, rich or poor, simple or sophisticated. If you consider this an exception to the rule then you truly don't understand how Lieberman operates. I hope, however, that you at least understand that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Of course, if Lieberman had learned anything from history, he'd know that several things he has said have brought me to the boiling point. The statement of his that made the strongest impression on me, however, was something to the effect of how there is an international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. Lieberman wants to quash other people's opinions. But what if the tables were turned? How would Lieberman like that? In a nutshell, I wouldn't put it past Joe Lieberman to create an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment.

Patriotically,
Kilgore Trout

Worst interview ever? (3, Insightful)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744220)

It seems the interviewer knows _NOTHING_ about the subject:

[...]if an individual were to download "Serenity", and play it successfully on his or her Power DVD player - and never updated the software - would it be immune from any Hollywood counterattack?

You can play an unencrypted movie wherever you want; an update of the encryption-scheme will not magicalle re-encrypt the movie. DUH!

Do you see Microsoft Vista's implementation of HDCP being an obstacle to playing compromised HD movies in high definition?

An unprotected movie does not require HDCP; HDCP has _NOTHING_ to do with this.

Re:Worst interview ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744400)

In a way, it's kind of a good thing to have an interviewer with about as much knowledge as a Joe Six-pack who actually learnt how to use DVD Shrink, etc. After all, they would make up a fair percentage of the user base. Now if you could get those people to read the interview, they might actually learn something from those otherwise stupid questions...

Re:Worst interview ever? (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744696)

I think the interviewer was asking, with an encrypted disk, once powerdvd has ascertained the title key via its player key, and you never upgrade (eg never get a newer revocation list) that you could still play the disk forever- eg the revocation lists are worthless anyway.

Obviously, once unencrypted, you can do what you like.

Re:Worst interview ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744746)

Out of all those questions, you could only find two that you didn't like? Seems like someone's baby formula was a bitter this morning.

Re:Worst interview ever? (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745246)

You can play an unencrypted movie wherever you want; an update of the encryption-scheme will not magicalle re-encrypt the movie. DUH!
An unprotected movie does not require HDCP; HDCP has _NOTHING_ to do with this.


I don't think you read these questions the same way muslix64 did. You are incorrect, because the content industry could force future versions of PowerDVD to automatically downgrade the video quality of any unencrypted video it played. This would be a "Hollywood counterattack" that does not re-encrypt the video like you assumed. Likewise, because an unprotected movie does not require HDCP, Microsoft could force all video played on its operating system to be downgraded unless HDCP is enabled.

I know, neither PowerDVD nor Microsoft would ever actually do this. Even if they did, there are alternative open-source players, and alternative open-source operating systems, to which these changes would never be made. This is exactly what muslix64 says when he replies "Or you can use open-source player, like VideoLan, if a player like PowerDVD become more restrictive about playing decrypted movies."

Encrypted (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17744230)

This comment is rot26 encrypted. By reading this comment, you have violated the DMCA.

Re:Encrypted (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744646)

If you guys thought that was tough to crack, try rot39 on for size!

Guvf pbzzrag vf ebg39 rapelcgrq. Ol ernqvat guvf pbzzrag, lbh unir ivbyngrq gur QZPN.

Re:Encrypted (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744768)

Zber nccebcevngryl:

Guvf pbzzrag vf ebg(13*a) rapelcgrq. Ol ernqvat guvf pbzzrag, lbh unir ivbyngrq gur QZPN.

Re:Encrypted (1, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744990)

Thanks guy. You just summoned "that which cannot be named" and doomed us all. I was looking forward to an afterlife not filled with thousands of gibbering mouths, but nooooooooooo...

Re:Encrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745548)

Rira zber nccebcevngryl:

Guvf pbzzrag vf ebg(13*(2a+1)) rapelcgrq. Ol ernqvat guvf pbzzrag, lbh unir ivbyngrq gur QZPN.

So let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744616)

If I understand it correctly, my output resolution will be degraded unless I buy a MPAA-approved display device?

Why would I bother upgrading from DVD if I'm not going to get any better quality?

Tip to Hollywood: Deliberately crippling technology doesn't boost sales. As far as I'm concerned, there's no point in buying into this. Why would I bother to spend a lot of money for something that won't work with my existing equipment, and likely won't work in the manner I intend to use it?

Why upgrade from DVD? (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744766)

"If I understand it correctly, my output resolution will be degraded unless I buy a MPAA-approved display device? Why would I bother upgrading from DVD if I'm not going to get any better quality?"

Devil's advocate here - don't label me pro-DRM.

If you're buying movies anyway, and the movie IS enforcing the downgrade requirement, then you won't see much difference from DVD... until you upgrade your television at some point in the future - at which time magically all the HD movies suddenly become viewable in their full glory.

Of course that assumes you buy a TV before they stop including HDMI ports on them.

I love this guy... (5, Insightful)

LukeCage (1007133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744638)

After the HD-DVD crack, I realized that things where "unbalanced" by having just one format cracked, so I did Blu-Ray too.

Bless you, muslix. Now the two formats can compete as true equals where it counts: in the ease of supplementing your legitimate media collection with illegal copies of things that you "kind of like".

Let's not pretend that there is one type of pirate. There are many levels of pirate, and by far the most common type (at least in my experience) is the "pirate" who buys plenty of legitimate media, but occasionally supplements their colleciton with an illegal copy of something that they don't care enough about to pay full price for. You can see the popularity of this line of thinking by watching people paw through the "bargain bin" at any major retailer. These are the movies that no one liked enough to pay full price for, but still maange to sell. This is more of a problem, as I see it, with the uniform pricing structure of DVDs. Let's not pretend that "Batman Begins" and "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" are worth the same amount of money to most people. They are simply not, and should be priced differently from the get-go. Sadly the media companies instead try to rake in bucks from the "gotta have it now" super-fans crowd by artificially inflating the price; the side-effect is piracy. I would wager that the media companies gain more money then they lose by this process; the convenience of the consumer does not enter into the equation (these companies have demonstrated, repeatedly and without a doubt, that the convenience of the consumer is a very, VERY low priority to them).

Of course I am deliberately discounting bring up That Guy. You know That Guy. He is the guy with the huge collection of pirated movies for the sake of having them. To be fair, unless That Guy has a lot of friends (and usually they do not) they are no real threat to media companies. That Guy would not have purchased the movies anyway, and his collection is (to put it bluntly) a dick-measuring contest to make himself feel better anyway. Every That Guy that I have ever met has had movies of laughably bad quality in their collection; their love is not for the cinema but rather, like a dragon, they hoard the wealth for it's own sake rather than an appreciation for it. And that might be the dorkiest thing I have ever written.

Re:I love this guy... (2, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744940)

Is THAT you, there "that guy". You were pretty cagey about your proclivities up until you mentioned the dragon.

Re:I love this guy... (1)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745404)

great post! for myself there's about three or four dvds on my shelf for which i paid full price - everything else is bargain basement. i tend to have a first viewing in the cinema and, if i like the film, i'll make a mental note to buy the dvd when it is at a reasonable price comensurate with how much the movie entertained me. i really wish that the movie industry would at least try pricing pirates out of the market - i realise it's not possible to stop all pirates but releasing dvds below £7 would be seriously attractive to the majority of those currently downloading and the sort of price dvds end up at anyhow.

Um, not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745432)

Rather, That Guy is just taking advantage of the education exception to the DMCA to learn more about computers, copyright, and digital restrictions. The thrill of the hunt is for the sake of learning to be a better hunter.

You have to wonder... (1)

shades66 (571498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744670)

... if this encryption scheme was made intentionally easy to bypass/break after all think of all those MPAA lawyers that would be out of a job if these formats were 100% un-crackable.

When will the *IAA learn? (3, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744802)

The *IAA wastes so much time, energy and ultimately money on various DRM implementations and the end result is always the same. The DRM is eventually cracked so those who want to pirate material can and do yet the DRM is cumbersome enough to upset and turn off a certain percentage of legitimate customers.

My roommate purchased an HDTV a few years ago before the HDCP standard emerged and he recently bought a Playstation 3. He was seriously pissed when he found out he couldn't watch Blue Ray Discs at the highest resolution because his TV wasn't compatible.

Things like this only serve to alienate legitimate consumers who are already inclined to pay for the product. The pirates just wait for the DRM to be cracked.

Re:When will the *IAA learn? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745352)

My roommate purchased an HDTV a few years ago before the HDCP standard emerged and he recently bought a Playstation 3. He was seriously pissed when he found out he couldn't watch Blue Ray Discs at the highest resolution because his TV wasn't compatible.

Did he actually try this out? I had the impression that no current discs have the Image Constraint Token [wikipedia.org] set, so there would be no downgrading for now.

Seems like a decent guy (4, Interesting)

Bralkein (685733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17744948)

Since the DRM on these new formats is so insulting, I'll always be happy to see it suffering setbacks like this. However, I'd be slightly less happy if the person who cracked it was just some guy who wanted to be able to get everything for free and impress his mates by giving them free movies. Assuming this muslix64 character is telling the truth, he seems like a decent sort. His story is just that he wanted to be able to use his own purchased movies in the way that he wants to, in his own home. So consider him thoroughly endorsed!

On a different subject, this still leaves Linux (and BSD, ReactOS, Haiku etc., etc.) users in a spot of bother. I don't understand if having a movie key would allow you to watch something on the disc even without the right player software to access the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray drive, but even if you don't need special software it still looks like extraction of the movie keys can only be done with Windows software, and presumably OSX software in the future. I'd still really like to see a proper, Free Software, libdvdcss-style crack for these formats. I'd like to think it's only a matter of time...

you Fail It! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17745124)

We'll be able to like I should be keed to be Kreskin share, this 8ews won't vote in project faces a set accounts for less Fuck The Baby this exploitation, gave the BSD

DRM Cracking Quiz (4, Funny)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17745418)

To paraphrase from an old law school joke:

Q: What is the fastest way to crack a DRM scheme?

A: Label it as uncrackable.

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. The 9:00 show is completely different from the 7:00 show. Be sure to tip your bartenders and waitresses.

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