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Hacker Claims to Crack Advanced Copy Protection

28 Dec, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

A poster at “DVD conversion” forum Doom9 claims to have cracked the Advanced Access Copy System (AACS) — copy-protection used on HD DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Doom9 poster Muslix64 wrote that after reading AACS specs on the Internet, it took just eight days of coding and tweaking to come up with BackupHDDVD, a java-based command program that will decrypt a high definition movie and allow it to be stored and played back on a hard drive.

The poster even revealed the results of his/her efforts on YouTube with a video titled “AACS is Unbreakable.”

Muslix64 also set up a link for others to upload the decryption program source code at the Doom9 forums.

Blu-ray discs carry a second level of copy protection and the purported hacker did not claim to have cracked that system.

Meanwhile, fellow posters on the message board eagerly responded to Muslix64's post with requests for the decryption program and warnings for the hacker to protect his or her identity.

“You've done great work, and I'd hate to see you become another victim in the DRM (digital rights management) battle,” a fellow poster wrote. “You should've sat on this fix a bit longer. HD-DVD is still in first generation with little market penetration, so it's not too late for them to tweak the HD-DVD spec.”

So far, while reports of the hack circulate in tech and gadget magazines and Web sites, there has been no clear indication that the decryption truly works or that it will be able to bypass any revocation keys the Hollywood studios and/or consumer electronics manufacturers might come up with to combat it.

Meanwhile, back in July, German computer magazine c't reportedly discovered a loophole in the AACS copy-protection software when testing software on both the Toshiba Qosmio G30 and Sony Vaio laptops.

The magazine discovered it was possible to copy HD DVD and Blu-ray discs by clicking the “Print Screen” button per digital image on a PC — hundreds of thousands of times.

Toshiba immediately corrected that issue with a firmware upgrade for its two HD DVD players, the only ones on the market at the time.

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