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Vista DRM Cracked by Security Researcher

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Windows 379

An anonymous reader writes "Security researcher Alex Ionescu claims to have successfully bypassed the much discussed DRM protection in Windows Vista, called 'Protected Media Path' (PMP), which is designed to seriously degrade the playback quality of any video and audio running on systems with hardware components not explicitly approved by Microsoft. The bypass of the DRM protection was in turn performed by breaking the Driver Signing / PatchGuard protection in the new operating system. Alex is now quite nervous about what an army of lawyers backed by draconian copyright laws could do to him if he released the details, but he claims to be currently looking into the details of safely releasing his details about this at the moment though."

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379 comments

very fitting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803342)

called 'Protected Media Path' (PMP)
I can guess how that's pronounced...

Re:very fitting (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803554)

"called 'Protected Media Path' (PMP)" I can guess how that's pronounced... Well, it just goes to show, that PMP'ing an operating system ain't easy.

Re:very fitting (5, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803740)

Well, it just goes to show, that PMP'ing an operating system ain't easy.

Or 'It's hard out here for a PMP'

Re:very fitting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803886)

Come on, that jab is unfair.

As a user of the Windows Home Operating Rights Environment, I must state for the record that all of my transactions with said system are completely clean, and take place using the most effective protection available. If you truly feel that some of your Media exchanges are tainted, I'd suggest it's probably because you didn't pay the requisite PMP fees.

Re:very fitting (1, Offtopic)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804030)

you should have put bold on the first letters so that the slow people (me) would have gotten the joke a tad bit faster.

other then that I applaud you :)

1st thing is to get a good lawyer (3, Funny)

Punko (784684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803356)

As fast as you can

Re:1st thing is to get a good lawyer (5, Informative)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803568)

From the about page [alex-ionescu.com] it says:

He [Alex] is currently studying at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada"

So does the DMCA apply?

Re:1st thing is to get a good lawyer (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803638)

So does the DMCA apply?

that depends, does he travel to or through the US?

Re:1st thing is to get a good lawyer (5, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803826)

No, that doesn't matter. I am sure that my govt will happily deport him if the **AA asks them to. We seem to bend over backwards for the US at this point, and for the **AA in particular, just look at the politician they bought recently up here. A Conservative government here in Canada turns us into a mere appendage of the US Government, compliant to their will most of the time. Hell, we just paid out 10 mil in damages to a Canadian Citizen we happily fingered for the US Dept of Homeland security so they could ship him to Syria to be tortured for a year or so even though there was no evidence he supported terrorism. I have no doubt that violating DRM (which is surely as Evil(tm) as terrorism in the eyes of the **AA, in fact they probably want to equate the two) will be sufficient to get this guy exported to some country for torture as well :)

"Government for the corporations, by the corporations, for the benefit of all corporations..." or something to that effect.

Re:1st thing is to get a good lawyer (2, Informative)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803924)

A Conservative government here in Canada turns us into a mere appendage of the US Government, compliant to their will most of the time.
I'm all for bashing the Conservatives, but that Arar thing happened under the Liberal party's watch...

Credit where credit is due, and all that.

Second (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803584)

Make sure you download the automatic update for your Vista installation so that your DRM features continue to work smoothly. (btw first time an update was ever released before the software it's updating...)

1st is to realize credit is overrated. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803898)

Well, he's already probably a bit screwed.

Here's the problem: there's virtually no way to get in trouble, if you just release an exploit anonymously. (By definition, if it's truly anonymous, they can't catch you; there are lots of ways to basically ensure your anonymity today.) Where you start to get in trouble is when you want to release an exploit that's going to ruin somebody's day and take credit for it.

This comes up with regards to other, less-politically-sensitive bugs. When you step forward and take credit for something that you've released, you're basically holding up a big "come and get me!" sign. It's a lot easier to sling mud at a person, than it is at some anonymous entity on the Internet.

It's really taking credit that burns people, not releasing the bug/hack/exploit. It would have been trivial for this guy to release his code, anonymously or even pseudonymously, and keep it firewalled from his real-world identity. If he had done that, there might have been some attempts to uncover who he really was, but I doubt anyone would try that hard -- it's harder to go after someone that's anonymous, than an actual person. With a person, you have something to put in your mind under 'enemy,' that you just don't have with some vaporous person or persons on the Internet. Being anonymous diffuses a lot of the hatred, because it's harder to hate someone that might not exist. By standing up and taking credit, you're accepting everything.

Personally, if I were to discover something like this, there's no way I'd publicly admit it. I live a happy enough life without becoming some sort of hacker/security icon; the downsides of becoming the next Dimitry Sklyarov seem far greater than the possible benefits. Release the code somewhere in public, maybe signed with a private key that you have stashed away (so, decades down the line, you'd be able to claim it, if you wanted to and if the statute of limitations had run out), and only communicate via Usenet dead-drops and anonymous remailers. The tools to remain completely hidden are all there -- heck, you could probably do interviews in Wired under a psuedonym, the only absolute would be keeping the Clark-Kent-esque secret of your true identity hidden, and I'm not sure if some people would be able to swallow their pride enough to do that.

Pro Bono Security Attorneys (4, Interesting)

adambha (1048538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803358)

How about a team of pro bono attorneys who are willing to defend (fight?) cases like this in which a researcher simply wants to share his/her findings? Sort of like a non-profit organization.

Re:Pro Bono Security Attorneys (3, Insightful)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803396)

How about a team of pro bono attorneys who are willing to defend (fight?) cases like this in which a researcher simply wants to share his/her findings? Sort of like a non-profit organization.

We can watch as MS' legal team steps on them like a bug. Not that MS would be in the right, only they would have the most might.

Re:Pro Bono Security Attorneys (5, Informative)

dafragsta (577711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803476)

If only there was some EFFin' organization that provided such a service. I don't know what the EFF we'll do now. I guess we are all pretty EFF'd.

Re:Pro Bono Security Attorneys (2, Funny)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803820)

You'd have to put a pro-linux spin on this before the EFF will give a damn.

Merely being anti-microsoft and anti-drm isn't enough to get the linux and open-source fanboys fired up enough to get the EFF to do anything.

Re:Pro Bono Security Attorneys (3, Funny)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803852)

You really think you can find that many Pro-Bono Attorneys?

I mean sure, The Joshua Tree was great, but they've been going downhill for awhile....

Re:Pro Bono Security Attorneys (2, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804044)

He's going to need attorneys very soon. By hacking the DRM he committed a violation; publishing the hack would just add insult to injury - perhaps a lawsuit for supposed 'damages'. But he has already broken the law.

IANAL.

Moving to Redmond? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803364)

Sounds like somebody will soon get a juicy job offer from Microsoft to tighten up the system...

Re:Moving to Redmond? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803876)

Sounds like somebody will soon get a juicy job offer from Microsoft to tighten up the system...
No way!
Knowing MS, they'll probably find out the specific methods he used (plus other unrelated skills/techniques) during the interview process and eventually tell him he wasn't MS material.
Oh yeah, and then they'll sue him too. Of course, to get the interview he had to sign a NDA and can't do anything in response.

Honestly, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it happened like that.

Re:Moving to Redmond? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803916)

From Alex's website -

"He is currently studying at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and is in his first year of obtaining a bachelor's degree in Software Engineering. He is also a Microsoft Student Ambassador and is representing the company on campus as a Technical Rep."

Uh oh.

Details, details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803368)

looking into the details of safely releasing his details about this at the moment though."

The devil is in the details -- Dale

It's all in the details. (3, Funny)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803378)

...could do to him if he released the details, but he claims to be currently looking into the details of safely releasing his details...
Grammar tip: don't use the same word three times in one sentence.

Re:It's all in the details. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803586)

Grammar tip: don't use the same word three times in one sentence.



This is not a grammatical mistake. The sentence was a perfectly grammatical English sentence. It is a mistake in style though.

Re:It's all in the details. (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803694)

That's perfectly good grammar. It may not be great style, though.

Re:It's all in the details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803794)

Indeed. That's always bothered me about style in English. You have to break from the flow of writing and go on a thesaurus hunt just to fit with one specific writing tradition. I like the old Roman point of view. Repeating the same word in Latin in the old days was very common and considered a good emphasis technique.

Re:It's all in the details. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804036)

Repeating the same word in Latin in the old days was very common and considered a good emphasis technique.

Oh, and it still is. That's one of the more common and easier-to-find "rhetorical techniques" that you learn about in English classes and such. See MLK's I Have a Dream speech.

But in this case, I don't think it's a deliberate attempt to do that; what's being emphasized? It just feels like a sloppily-worded sentence.

Re:It's all in the details. (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803742)

This comment was apparently actually brought to you by the-department-of-redundancy-department. The last sentence was the one I found the most entertaining: "but he claims to be currently looking into the details of safely releasing his details about this at the moment though." But/though, currently/at the moment. Free advice to everyone: don't be so eager to get the story submission that you abuse the language. It's just not that important.

Re:It's all in the details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803878)

>Grammar tip: don't use the same word three times in one sentence.

Developers! Developers! Developers! --- Does 3 identical sentences count?

/me watches the skies over Montreal... (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803384)

...darken as thousands of crack Microsoft lawyers parachute down into the city in search of the terrorist, erm, defendant...

Big PMPin (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803394)

It's rather telling that they named their DRM PMP, they seem to know that they are treating us like we're a bunch of abused victims who have to whore ourselves for them. Fuck you MS, you ain't my pimp and I ain't your ho.

I have a brilliant crack of the Vista DRM too... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803404)

... but there is no space in the margin of this comment to write it.

Re:I have a brilliant crack of the Vista DRM too.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803774)

Being an MS OS, the space is probably enough

In future news... (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803406)

"Vista DRM cracked by anybody with the desire to do so".

Re:In future news... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803908)

"Vista DRM cracked by anybody with the desire to do so".
by holding down the ALT key when installing from Vista's DVD?

Too bad this didn't come out 3-6 months from now (1)

caitriona81 (1032126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803432)

It's really too bad that this is coming out now, rather than in 3-6 months when it would make more of an impact. While the article raises some issues that won't be easy to solve, right now this seems to give M$ a head start on tightening the DRM noose even more or insisting on TPM.

Post the details on MySpace (5, Funny)

DBCubix (1027232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803436)

and then ask Network Solutions to suspend their domain. It works on GoDaddy domains.

Re:Post the details on MySpace (3, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803630)

It works on GoDaddy domains.

Closed captioned for the informationally challenged: Microsoft pays GoDaddy to use IIS for parked domains so it looks like IIS is "just behind" Apache on "who's using which web server" pie charts.

What a revelation! (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803466)

Hopefully, other players in the media industry see this and realize that DRM is a pointless encumbrance!

Yeah, right. They'll just keep up with their usual approach, one akin to installing a governor on your car to deter theft.

Re:What a revelation! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803914)

...a governer to deter theft?

What the fuck are you talking about? Last time I checked a governer prevented a vehicle from going over a certain speed (or in the case of a rev-limiter, from going over a certain RPM)

Re:What a revelation! (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804018)

Last time I checked a governer prevented a vehicle from going over a certain speed (or in the case of a rev-limiter, from going over a certain RPM)
I suppose with a custom governor you could use it to disable your transmission, which would effectively prevent someone from driving off in your car. I mean, all you'd have to do is have some control that adjusted it to prevent a vehicle from going over the speed of 2mph... ;)

They have remote battery-cutoffs, why not remote governor adjusters?

just release it (2, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803500)

Just release it, the deluge of bad PR will suck the moneyline away from the lawyers long enough for you to jet to Aruba or somewhere.

He won't need to ... (5, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803506)

Now that people know it is possible, I am sure it is only a matter of time before others across the globe attempt to find the weakness. Some of these people won't even be affected by USA law, unless they decide to visit or transit through the country.

Re:He won't need to ... (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803932)

Some of these people won't even be affected by USA law, unless they decide to visit or transit through the country.

One wonders if the harassment of people who are not breaking US law in their own jurisdiction when they come to the US will have a chilling effect on technology in the USA. Certainly, some very smart people would be very stupid to visit here...

Re:He won't need to ... (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803956)

Releasing the information anonymously is easy. The problem comes for researchers who want to put their name on it. The problem this guy now has, is that if some anonymous person releases a crack, MS lawyers will get the MS purchased FBI / NSA to go after this researcher regardless of any "proof" that HE actually released it or not.

Seems that the cat is already out of the bag... (5, Informative)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803510)

Mark says that it's possible. He also says enough that someone else as "skilled in the art" as he is can probably figure out what he did.

And what he did, if I understand correctly, is have some of his own code run as kernel without it being in a "test signed" driver. That seems to be the essense of his approach. Once you figure out how to do that, you can basically do anything, and Microsoft can't stop you.

Re:Seems that the cat is already out of the bag... (0, Redundant)

dpilot (134227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803744)

I have discovered a truly remarkable proof^H^H^H^H^HVista DRM crack which this margin is too small to contain.

Alex is also re-implementing the win32 kernel (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803512)

Alex Ionescu is the main kernel/HAL developer for the GPL'ed ReactOS project (www.reactos.org), which is aiming for an OS that is fully binary AND driver-compatible with Windows XP/Vista. If you look through the work he's done in the ReactOS SVN (developer name 'ion'), I have no doubts that he's fully capable of analyzing and defeating any kernel-level protections in Vista.

Although ReactOS can share a lot of work with the WINE project for the win32 userland, it could still use any developers that are familiar with win32 development and would like to see a truly free operating system capable of using windows drivers/software.

Why bother even having DRM? (3, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803536)

After all, it's only going to get cracked sooner or later. So there is no point is there?

Re:Why bother even having DRM? (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803726)

Not for the pirates, no... It's generally beleived that DRM is to screw those who actually pay for things into paying for them more than once.

Re:Why bother even having a door? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803788)

Eventually, someone determined enough to break it down will come and rob you.

Facetious, yes. But I'd rather vote with my money and NOT BUY, copy, or in any way use, DRM'd content.

Re:Why bother even having DRM? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803808)

Your sig (at the moment: "This is my opinion. To make sure you don't steal it, it's covered by the DMCA.") contains all the answers. The DMCA basically prohibits all reverse-engineering except for the purpose of interoperability. While in the loosest sense of the word that IS what we are talking about (you're making Windows interoperate with your TV) it's not what they mean. You can reverse-engineer Windows all you want, but only for the purpose of running Windows programs, or making your product work on Windows.

Re:Why bother even having DRM? (3, Insightful)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803818)

The goal is not to make a secure system. The idea of securing a system from its owner (who has physical access) while maintaining usability is absurd and approaches impossiblity. They just want to make a system which 99.9% of users cannot crack, make it so that the crack cannot be generalized across different systems, and prosecute the remaining 0.1%.

Really, the only way to defeat DRM is to prove to companies that they will make more money without DRM than with, or, failing that, make the preceding true via strikes and public awareness.

Re:Why bother even having DRM? (2, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803950)

The only way DRM could work is if the publisher controlled both the hardware and the software environment. Ever heard of Trusted Computing and the Fritz chip [cam.ac.uk]? The idea is that they goop up the board with epoxy and/or lock the keys into a tamper-resistant CPU. Any attempts to get them would destroy the hardware. Once they do this, it is within the realm of possibility that they'd have their dream DRM that could only be broken by the most well-funded labs, which, in the United States, would probably be very illegal.

Of course, here, we're getting into 1984 type stuff that people would never buy into. Right? Well... hopefully. Read the FAQ linked above if you haven't before; like everything else, they're selling this under the guise of "security", even though it has very little tangible benefit to the end user.

Re:Why bother even having DRM? (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803996)

I think you add DRM to your system to gain the favor of the Copyright Cartel. The business case is that they will prefer to distribute content through your proprietary system, rather than a competitor's system that doesn't have DRM. Since people (supposedly) want the content, they'll use your system...and there's your profit.

What with (2, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803546)

Excellent news.
What with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray being cracked already, and now this, combined with all the hate and general unity by consumers against the big movie and music industry, how much more signal do they need that DRM is pointless and unwanted and to finally stop trying to force it on us?

Re:What with (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803690)

Since Linux will invariably end up with hacks to get the new generation media to work, wouldn't it be mighty funny if the only OS you could watch your HD videos in all their glory on whatever monitor you choose ended up being Linux (or BSD or Solaris before some deities smite me)

Re:What with (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803930)

It makes you wonder if Microsoft didn't suddenly see the shit they were in and leaked this themselves.

not so excellent ... (1)

mbaudis (585035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803766)

... since this basically takes soe wind out of the vista opponent's sails. less worries, after you have kernel-patched-illegally-moded ... so "hackers" will complain less, vista will spread like oil after a big tanker disaster, and the tech guys will be more willing to support it at their companies and relative's home pcs. essentially, the $@#^&! level will be lowered.

maybe time to buy ms stock? o.k., i would rather invest in the fur industry (i heard, bloody baby seals are in vogue) ...

Re:What with (1)

Sadko (980424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803896)

Don't confuse "general Slashdot public" with "general public". Unfortunately, general public does not really know/care about DRM...

Re:What with (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803962)

A simpler approach: 1) attend live events (theatre, music etc) 2) don't buy from the mainstream media. The nicest feature of this is that you can do these things and still enjoy yourselves without having to suffer from hateful stress.

Its a shame (2, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803572)

that he put his name to it, rather than just release his findings anoymously from a public internet terminal.

Re: It's a shame (5, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803816)

It's a shame that things have come to a point where developers/security researchers have to worry about releasing findings like this, perhaps *even* when they are not under US law.

Is it illegal for me to have someone check safety? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803596)

If I drive a car, or heck use a toaster. Isn't it legal for me to give the product to a mechanic or someone versed in the art to check whether it's safe or not?

So if I use windows .. I need to know if the DRM or digital signing is crap. I don't want spyware to be fakely "digitally signed" and run on my system. If the DRM is crap why would anyone release anything with it? Why are software companies able to prevent or hinder research into the security of their products and announcements to the public w.r.t their safety?

Don't release it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803626)

People need to say no to fascism, not indulge in workarounds to make their situation bearable.

Microsoft should pay them (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803636)

Who else thinks microsoft should pay them if they release it to the public as a crack? I sure as hell won't buy Vista until it's gone and I can play and backup my damn media that I already bought in full quality, so it's gonna shoot Vista's sales through the roof.

Crushing of Freedom of Speech (4, Insightful)

resistant (221968) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803664)

Yes, I know it's been said very many times before, but I'm moved to say it again. It's simply obscene that runaway copyright law provisions should be used to casually stomp on this kind of freedom of speech, especially in the U.S.A., where allegedly there is a First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech. I would very much like to see a full-out legal confrontation between these terroristic laws as they stand, and the Constitution. The alleged and artificial "right" of the smirking lawyers at commercial companies to keep their nasty little secrets does not in any sense abrogate the innate, natural right of the people to talk to each other about any damn thing they want, particularly complex subjects, and in any way they wish, including via carrier pigeons and Morse code, let alone in plain English (or whatever language) on the Web.

It's really a shame that other countries such as Sweden actually surpass the U.S.A. in this area.

Frankly, this pisses me off enough that I'm very strongly tempted once my finances improve enough for the expensive legalities, to spit in the eyes of these jerkoffs with a direct, blunt and extremely widespread explanation (possibly on a Russian server to further annoy and frustrate them) of whatever it is that they absolutely are frantic to not have explained, along with the text of the Constitution with the First Amendment highlighted in red. I think a well-crafted attack on this crap would gather quite a lot of support, moral and otherwise.

USA-centrism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17804004)

It's really a shame that other countries such as Sweden actually surpass the U.S.A. in this area.


Why is this a "shame"? The USA is not the promised land, and never has been. Anyone who ever thought it was has simply fallen for the media-created "good guy" image of the USA. The reality is a lot darker, and there is now, and almost always has been, more free countries to live and work in than the USA.

Honest question (4, Interesting)

jiggerdot (976328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803674)

Since the DRM in Vista is so inextricably tied in to the OS, then ANY hack which allows you to run stuff at kernel level will, by definition, be able to break the DRM. Which begs the question: could Sony's next rootkit be a violation of the DMCA, instead of just a huge pain in the ass?

"*Any* video and audio"? (2, Interesting)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803676)

...which is designed to seriously degrade the playback quality of any video and audio running on systems with hardware components not explicitly approved by Microsoft.
Woah! "anyvideo and audio"? I thought it was just Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies which have the Image Constraint Token (ICT) flag set. TFA quotes it as "some premium content", which doesn't make it much clearer. Anyone want to clarify?

Re:"*Any* video and audio"? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803754)

You're correct more or less. There will probably be downloadable sources and such that also use the same thing, but "any video and audio" is typical Slashdot anti-MS bull.

Re:"*Any* video and audio"? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803978)

There will probably be downloadable sources and such that also use the same thing, but "any video and audio" is typical Slashdot anti-MS bull.

"Any A/V container format that can support ICT tokens" is probably the most accurate way to state it. Those MPEG files you downloaded five years ago can never be degraded, but content distributed today in "Windows Media Format v12" or whatever could be.

Re:"*Any* video and audio"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803984)

There have been various articles on this. It is any content that is High def (480p or larger) over a Digital port (HDMI) your Graphics card AND the devices attached MUST support HDCP to get full picture / sound quality. Right now, there aren't any Graphics cards that have HDCP compliant HDMI ports so in reality, ALL media from a Vista box will be scaled down. (though this is more NVidia and ATI's fault than microsofts. THEY are the ones that didnt follow the HDCP standard)

You can bitch about M$ all you want but the big issue is HDCP and how stupid it is.

Fight the power! (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803704)

I can use this crack to play ridiculously high-resolution media with a different connector than intended! YES!

Now I'll just disable automatic update to preserve it and completely forego the benefit of paying for an operating system.

He can crack DRM... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803724)

but he can't make an anonymous post on a freenet site, or through TOR?

Alex is now quite nervous about what an army of lawyers backed by draconian copyright laws could do to him if he released the details, but he claims to be currently looking into the details of safely releasing his details about this at the moment though."


What a peon.

Let's learn English (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803736)

Man, the last sentence of the story is one of the worst ones I've seen in my life. "Details"....But and though, currently and at this time (or whatever was actually used, i forget). Could not be more redundant. I have a feeling that despite all this, English is the person's first language. Sigh.

Norwegians, I'm ashamed of you (5, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803764)

Someone in America cracked this first.

Re:Norwegians, I'm ashamed of you (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803822)

Someone in America cracked this first.

except Alex is Canadian

Re:Norwegians, I'm ashamed of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17803946)

He may be in America (or not), but his last name says he is a Romanian.

Re:Norwegians, I'm ashamed of you (1)

Lord_Sintra (923866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804016)

Actually, someone in America published it first. Might have been cracked and going round the hacker underground for weeks.

Yay! (2, Funny)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803864)

There needs to be an installer to bypass the PMP and DRM functionality in Vista so that every user can have the right to CHOOSE!

Manna from heaven. (1)

raidient (751898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803874)

It seems to me that Microsoft needs someone to publish this sort of exploit. Vista would appear to be going nowhere in the market with the DRM mill-stone around its neck.

Re:Manna from heaven. (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17804042)

Vista would appear to be going nowhere in the market with the DRM mill-stone around its neck.

I don't think so. Businesses don't care; this will not affect them. Home users don't care; they don't want Vista. It's the lack of a compelling reason to purchase Vista that's stopping people from purchasing Vista. Windows 95 was a major upgrade. Windows XP was a major upgrade. They both got major attention. Windows Vista is a minor upgrade. It adds eye candy and some features that only business users typically need (like whole-disk encryption, which is a recipe for disaster in the hands of home users.)

The bottom line is that home users will be the major adopters of Vista because they will get the machine with Vista and they will run it with Vista. Corporate users who get new machines in with Vista will probably, if they have a volume license, run Windows XP on them instead, for the foreseeable future, not least because Vista has a brand-spanking-new TCP/IP stack which at least in the beta was known to be vulnerable to a whole laundry-list of otherwise-outdated attacks, things Windows hasn't been vulnerable to since the late nineties. Personally my biggest concern about vista on the corporate desktop (luckily not a decision I have to make) is that the network stack will be a vector of attack into the network, one that our firewall has no power to stop since users are continually opening outgoing connections.

Thats the problem with 3rd party drivers (1)

subanark (937286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17803936)

With having to mix in support for the old legacy drivers, along with the newer trust system, its not too supprising that a loop hole was found. This is area where Apple has the advantage. Microsoft would probably have been in much bigger trouble if they decided to require all driver makers to rewrite their drivers (and manifests) with the newer spefication.

Although I wouldn't be supprised if in the future Microsoft does in fact lock down its operating system and write all drivers for third party itself, requiring the hardware maker pay them to do so.
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