Print 34 comment(s) - last by Tegeril.. on Sep 15 at 10:53 PM

"You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability..."

Digital Rights Management (DRM) has drawn much ire from consumers who complain that it prevents them from making backup copies of fragile media like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.

DRM on DVDs and CDs has long since been obliterated by software cracking, allowing more law-abiding tech-savvy users to easily make backup copies and less law-abiding ones to post illegal torrents of the cracked files online.  High definition movies and Blu-ray, though, remain relatively protected by a scheme called HDCP -- until now.

An unknown party using the account IntelGlobalPR has posted what appears to be a master key (" rel="nofollow, may be removed) for the scheme on Twitter.  With that key burning up the internet, the end may be nigh for HDCP.

Having a master key allows you to generate source and sink keys, enabling you to pose as a legitimate copy and device.  Using the master, new ripping software programs should be just around the corner -- which users will be able to apply for good or evil.

Before high-definition rippers relied on hardware HDCP rippers like the HDfury2 and DVIMAGIC, which converted HDCP HDMI into unprotected DVI or RGB video.

Of course there's always the possibility that the key is farce, but sooner or later it seems inevitable that the scheme will be broken -- like the others before it.  Perhaps that day is now.

And it seems equally inevitable that the entertainment industry will continue its crusade to lock users in and prevent them from copying content they legally purchase.  After all, to err is human, and to err again and again is in the nature of some humans.

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Blu ray sales
By Shadowmaster625 on 9/14/2010 4:01:26 PM , Rating: 5
Watch blu-ray sales skyrocket from here. I can guarantee it will happen. Why? Because now that anyone can rip and make copies (and backups), its adds value to an otherwise questionable legitimate purchase. In other words, blu-ray by itself didn't provide enough value to many people. But when you open the floodgates to a whole bunch of potentially free media, it now makes sense to buy a blu ray player since you are more likely to get your money's worth from it. Once you have the player, you end up impulse buying blu-ray discs at the grocery store or wherever.

RE: Blu ray sales
By Lerianis on 9/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: Blu ray sales
By mcnabney on 9/14/2010 5:13:47 PM , Rating: 5
When 2TB drives cost $100, why not back them up? At the cost of $1 per film and keeping them on a server would allow instant access - sounds reasonable to me.

RE: Blu ray sales
By sprockkets on 9/14/2010 7:29:10 PM , Rating: 4
I have many 1080p encodes at around 6-9GB for a full movie, all with excellent quality and 7.1 sound.

RE: Blu ray sales
By MGSsancho on 9/15/2010 2:45:17 AM , Rating: 2
7.1? Oh I wasn't aware of any movie that has 7.1 sound yet. my entire blu0ray collection is a.. 5.1 DTS-MA and stuff like that. I'm sure it was bound to happen since the spec allows for eight channels.

RE: Blu ray sales
By Bateluer on 9/15/2010 4:17:13 AM , Rating: 3
I know I've compressed the handful of BD movies I've bought to around 4-6GB at 1080p. There's a quality drop, but its still far better than a DVD.

BD disks are too expensive, and still require me to rip and encode to play them on my PC, which takes time.

By Suntan on 9/14/2010 2:50:52 PM , Rating: 5
Uhhh, all well and good if a person wants to try and pull in the uncompressed feed that HDCP is supposed to protect, but if you want you could just rip the BR like all of us have been doing for some time now.

I understand how cracking HDCP may be considered new news, I fail to see how it is trying to be sensationalized in this story as something new and useful for BR ripping...


By Guspaz on 9/14/2010 3:50:28 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, HDCP (which was developed by Intel) has nothing to do with Blu-Ray (except that Blu-Ray is one of the mediums that has chosen to take advantage of it). Calling it "Blu-Ray's HDCP" is sensationalizing.

By Tegeril on 9/15/2010 10:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
Jason Mick? Sensationalize? He'd never do that!...

By sprockkets on 9/14/2010 7:25:06 PM , Rating: 2
Because instead of trying to hack blu ray and their ever changing protections due to Java, you can just use a legit program, then steal it after that, since HDCP is permanently broken.

Odd quote...
By quiksilvr on 9/14/2010 1:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't the agents want DRM to be there?

RE: Odd quote...
By bfellow on 9/14/2010 5:10:37 PM , Rating: 5
That's not air you're breathing.

HDCP Isn't Just Blu-Ray, & More
By ViRGE on 9/14/2010 2:38:10 PM , Rating: 5
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) isn't Blu-Ray's content protection scheme. That would be AACS. HDCP is the transport protection scheme - it's what encrypts content so that it isn't sent via HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort in the clear.

As such breaking HDCP doesn't really break Blu-Ray, as it can only be used to capture the decoded output of the Blu-Ray player and not the original compressed+encrypted video on the disc. With respect to AACS, people are already routinely bypassing it to rip the original compressed files off of the disc using AnyDVD HD.

But on the plus side, more things than just Blu-Ray use HDCP. Cable TV and a number of "secure" streaming platforms enforce the usage of HDCP when accessing premium content. This would allow for the practical capture of video from those services in lieu of an attack further upstream that can capture and decrypt the original compressed stream.

By BubbaJoe TBoneMalone on 9/14/2010 3:06:50 PM , Rating: 2

Pretty neat stuff at link to include the HDCP Master Key.

By xstylus on 9/14/2010 5:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't specifically limited to Blu-Ray. This is an HDMI hack. Anything that connects via HDMI using HDCP encryption is now vulnerable.

Jon's involvment?
By mcnabney on 9/14/2010 5:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
Here's hoping that Jon Lech Johansen is involved. That would be quite an achievement, breaking two mass-market content encryption standards.

By phatboye on 9/14/2010 8:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
The first thing that came to my mind when I read this article's title is years ago when the HD-DVD's key was discovered in the wild and posted on Digg. Shortly after Digg was ordered to take down the keys and the entire community revolted and plastered the keys everywhere on

Hahaha Good times, back when digg was fun.

sink keys?
By fezzik1620 on 9/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: sink keys?
By Ticholo on 9/14/2010 1:48:06 PM , Rating: 1
I lock my sink every morning before I leave home.
I'm really afraid about what this key may mean for my sink security system!

RE: sink keys?
By MPE on 9/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: sink keys?
By menting on 9/14/2010 1:49:58 PM , Rating: 5
how about try sink keys?
way to fail at trying to be smart without checking.

RE: sink keys?
By fezzik1620 on 9/14/2010 2:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, total fail on my part. Jason, my apologies.

RE: sink keys?
By JasonMick on 9/14/2010 1:53:44 PM , Rating: 5
Is it sync? Engadget has it as:
Now, posts have been floating around on Twitter about a supposed "master key" which renders that protection unusable since it allows anyone to create their own source and sink keys.

I have no background in cryptography, so I don't know. My reading on the topic didn't detail source sink/sync keys, so I just went with lingo Engadget used. Any cryptographers out there who can definitively answer this?

RE: sink keys?
By Noriaki on 9/14/2010 1:59:06 PM , Rating: 4
No, it's definitely sink. It's not talking about synchronization.

They are using an analogy similar to electrical sources and sinks, but applied to encrypted content.

RE: sink keys?
By killerroach on 9/14/2010 2:00:35 PM , Rating: 3
Look at the link to the master key itself; it tells you how to generate sink keys from the master.

In this case, the pedant needs to, for once, be told to RTFA.

RE: sink keys?
By RugMuch on 9/14/2010 2:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
I guess my biggest problem is that you have to ask. Not that I don't poke fun at your articles on a regular basis; but shouldn't you sort of be a quick and dirty expert on what you are reporting? Reading more than one source just seems to be your responsibility.

Although, you seem to crank out articles like crazy and I like that because my jobs is boring, all to often. So, I accept your flagrant disregard for clarity and accept that when I read a JM article I know what to expect.

I have made my peace.

RE: sink keys?
By DaveSylvia on 9/14/2010 11:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously though? Is any reporter an expert of any kind, quick and dirty or otherwise? Generally they gather information, relay the info, and possibly add their 2 cents. From my standpoint Jason does a fine job. Sure the excessive, green movement stuff got to me a while back but I think he's moved away from that and has moved closer to a balanced approach since then.

RE: sink keys?
By achintya on 9/14/2010 1:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
It is "source and sink" keys.

And if you still fail to believe it, then refer to the sources cited there.

RE: sink keys?
By sviola on 9/14/2010 2:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
sink keys as in Source x Sink

RE: sink keys?
By walk2k on 9/14/2010 2:35:45 PM , Rating: 1
Except Bluray was DESIGNED to be cracked. That is, it was designed to keep and updated a black-list of cracked keys and block them. The next time you put a new bluray disc or if you have it connected to the internet the next time you turn it on - BAM all your l333t h@x0rz discs are banned/blocked from being played on that player. Epic fail.

RE: sink keys?
By trisct on 9/14/2010 3:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
That would be true if you cracked a sink (data consumer) key or even a source (data producer) key. They could be invalidated by the protocol, and new keys generated from the master.

However since this is the master key that allows generating new source or sink keys, you cannot revoke it without invalidating ALL previously generated keys that descend from it. It is an HDCP grand-daddy key that would wipe out whole swaths of (or maybe all) previous product keys. I doubt they want to deal with that.

RE: sink keys?
By Lerianis on 9/14/2010 4:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo! That is exactly what it is. If they were to 'revoke' this key then ALL previous Blu-Ray stuff disappears out the window..... they aren't stupid enough to do that, period!

RE: sink keys?
By Aquila76 on 9/14/2010 7:32:38 PM , Rating: 3
Stupid enough? Maybe not. Greedy enough? Hell yes.

RE: sink keys?
By CharonPDX on 9/14/2010 8:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that this key is for the "transport" layer, not the "data read" layer.

i.e. This has nothing to do specifically with Blu-ray, and everything to do with the actual display of the *DECODED* AACS.

So now (or as soon as someone makes such software,) you can take your off-the-shelf Sony home theater component Blu-ray player, plug it into your $200 Blackmagic Intensity and let the Blu-ray player do the data decoding while you take in the raw, now-decrypted-at-the-HDMI-end signal into your PC.

On the PC itself, you could now capture the raw AACS-decrypted video stream that goes OUT of your stock PowerDVD or what have you, and decode the HDCP-encrypted signal that is heading to your video card. The Blu-ray playback software wouldn't know the difference.

And since HDCP is now "permanently broken". Admittedly, they could fix this in, say, HDCP 2.1; but they would then have to add enforcement that new material would *REQUIRE* HDCP 2.1. Could you imagine buying a new movie and not being able to play it on your two-month-old HDCP 2.0-only Blu-ray player plugged into your HDCP 2.0-only TV? (Oh, and HDCP 2.0 is already finalized, but not yet out.)

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