Update: July 17, 2007
Thanks for visiting this site, but it is no longer being updated. I've moved on over to http://www.mediapundit.net/
and I invite you to join me over there from now on. Thanks for your understanding.
Torrentfreak.com gets it all wrong on HD-DVD rips
Sunday, January 14, 2007 - reddit
Torrentfreak is reporting that the AACS encryption scheme that protects both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray has been broken, when in fact is has not.
The HD-DVD has been cracked, and high definition content is now being distributed freely over BitTorrent. We all knew this would happen sooner or later, looks it was "sooner". The first HD-DVD to be uploaded to BitTorrent is Serenity, the Firefly movie.
In reality, the Java program called BackupHDDVD can only decrypt files when you have the title key, or more recently the volume key. The program did not come with these keys, and it has been rumored that they were extracted from system memory from a poorly designed software player that was running in the foreground. This isn't the first time this has happened, as it's impossible to completely protect the keys which must be stored on the disk in some manner.
Unfortunately, Torrentfreak was not the only site to jump to conclusions only to end up spreading information that turned out not to be true. The difference is that the correct information about BackupHDDVD has been in the wild for a couple of weeks now, and can be found on virtually any tech site. From zdnet.com:
I've taken a look at the source code for BackupHDDVD (which is currently included with the software download) and it seems genuine enough. According to the comprehensive FAQ which accompanies the source code, BackupHDDVD simply implements the AACS decryption protocol as outlined at aacsla.com (the official AACS website). Title keys, which are required to decrypt the movie files, are stored encrypted on the HD-DVD disc but this hack seems to rely on the fact that CyberLink PowerDVD 6.5 HD-DVD extracts these keys and stores them in a plain-text file on the user's PC (I'm a little hazy on this because "muslix64" is is being vague as to how he got hold of the title keys). What I am sure of is that BackupHDDVD doesn't extract the keys itself, it merely relies on having access to the keys. They key here (if you pardon the pun) is that "muslix64" has found a way to get at these keys.
As I said previously, both high definition systems are protected by AACS, which is based on the Advanced Encryption System (AES). Any flaws are going to be found in their implementation, and the ability of third-party software players to protect the keys used to decrypt the video files.
AACS and the HD-DVD implementation have not been broken.
tags: Technology, Encryption, bittorrent, AES, Firefly, Serenity, AACS, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, Movies, Piracy, Copyright Infringement
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