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Lord of War gets defeated by high-definition hackers
The hacker who cracked HD DVD strikes again by defeating Blu-ray Disc encryption

Late last year, a crafty individual who goes by the name “Muslix64” circumvented the copy protection scheme used to protect HD DVD. Given the similarities between the copy protection methods used in the high-definition optical formats, it was only a matter of time before Blu-ray Disc’s protections would be bypassed. However, Muslix64 has no access to Blu-ray hardware, limiting his exploit methods to HD DVD. That is, until Muslix64 came across some specific data for Blu-ray Disc, allowing him to apply his methods to the yet-uncracked format.

Another individual interested in Blu-ray’s protection scheme, “Janvitos,” who also participates in the same online forum where Muslix64 revealed his HD DVD work, posted a message showing the directory structure from a Lord of War Blu-ray Disc movie. Janvitos extracted the information by going through his system’s memory with WinHEX after playing the movie on his computer using WinDVD.

The memory dump information caught the attention of Muslix64, who replied to the thread saying, “In less [than] 24 hours, without any Blu-Ray equipment, but with the help of Janvitos, I managed to decrypt and play a Blu-Ray media file using my known-plaintext attack.” Muslix64 then posted a file as an example of his decryption work, though he did say that his method does not address BD+.

Muslix64 then went on to explain how he was able to accomplish this feat with his plaintext attack method. “This is a very basic, but [powerful] crypto attack that I have used to decrypt both [HD DVD and Blu-ray] formats,” he wrote. “After reading posts of people trying to get the keys in memory, I realized, I have a different way of looking into the problem…A lot of people try to attack the software, I'm attacking the data!”

“So I spent more time analysing the data, to look for patterns or something special to mount my known-plaintext attack,” Muslix64 explains. “Because I know the keys are unprotected in memory, I can skip all the [painful] process of code reversal.”

Although Muslix64 did not have any Blu-ray equipment at his disposal, he was still able to recover the keys with the help of Janvitos’ memory dump file and media file. Blu-ray media files are divided into individual aligned units. The first 16 bytes of each unit are not encrypted, with the rest being encrypted using AES in CBC mode. Muslix64 examined the non-encrypted portions of the data and found a reoccurring pattern, which he used to mount his known-plaintext attack.

Muslix64 goes on: “In most cases, the know-plaintext attack is in fact a guessed-plaintext attack. We ‘assume’ the data will look like something we ‘guessed’ when decrypted. Most of the time, it works! Knowing that, all you have to do, is to write a small program that scan a memory dump file, that comes from of a software player while it was playing the movie. The key is in that file, you have to locate it.”

Once the value and position of the key is in memory, all one has to do is to use a memory landmarking function to locate the key and defeat the encryption. The method discovered by Muslix64 and Janvitos is specific to Blu-ray, though similar means were used to decrypt HD DVD. This hack was made possible by the fact that the keys were not protected in memory when running video-playing software on the PC.

Even without any Blu-ray hardware at his disposal, Muslix64 shortly followed his findings reveal with the alpha release of BackupBluRay V.0.21, software he wrote to decrypt Blu-ray Discs. Limitations to his software at this time are that it doesn’t support BD+ or volume unique keys and that it only supports one CPS key per disc. Users wishing to utilize the software will also have to provide their own CPS unit key.

Those who have tried the software report that they have successfully been able to decrypt and copy their own Blu-ray Discs for playback on both PC software and set-top players. If the cracking of HD DVD and the release of pirated files is of any indication, however, Blu-ray may soon see illegal copies hitting the black market and parts of the Internet.

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By stmok on 1/24/2007 5:01:03 PM , Rating: 4
by rippleyaliens on January 24, 2007 at 12:07 PM

IT isnt a Microsoft thing, it is a Hollywood issue. Microsoft HAD to implement DRM, OR face (Again) more lawsuits, from countries, because of their laws.. (EU to name the BIGGIE)..

I don't know where you heard that, but that's not correct.

This maybe hard for you to accept, but Microsoft wasn't forced into anything. They are a willing participant. Maybe the pay was better? Who knows. But a clue that they were on the Content Provider's side was when they did this...

Quickest Patch Ever,71738-0.html
(Giving priority to content protection over their security issues).

Do you notice how hypocritical Bill Gates is now?

Last year (around mid-December I think it was), he talked about DRM being difficult for the end-user, making it sound like he's on your side. But in reality, his company is working with the very people that are trying to force laws and DRM down your throat.

The EU anti-trust case is a completely different thing altogether. That one was about Microsoft delibrately not releasing the necessary documentation on how to work with their solutions. (They didn't have to reveal any detailed secrets of the internals, just the necessary info on working with their solutions. Stuff like how the functions work and what to call)...As a result, EU found this as monopolistic practice.

So if no one can interact with a Windows network or box, how can there be any competition which allows consumers choice? That's the point of the EU anti-trust case. To get Microsoft into revealling such docs.

What's really sad is that, even being fined, Microsoft has NOT changed behaviour. If you read the specifications of their OpenXML or what is now called OOXML, they reference back to functions and features calling for vendor specific things. (like spacing or footnote placement from Word95 or 97)

The problem is, how can OOXML be considered an open documentation standard when it refers back to proprietary features that no one has details about except for Microsoft?

You see how Microsoft wants to retain control of a format or standard? They know, if they lose control, people will walk away from their solutions.

Over 80% of the money they make relies on control and creating the feeling of helplessness if you try to leave them. (Have a think about MS Office. Why do people still use it? Mainly because of the formats! What about Windows? Because of the specific applications they need to use! In the enthusiast's case, its highly likely to be games.)

This is why I don't like Microsoft. Not because its fun to bag them out with clueless nonsense. Its because I know what they do and the stuff they try to hide from the end-user. (usually by PR spinning).

I know people will wake up one day. But that is gonna take at least another 5 to 10 yrs. Hopefully by then, alternatives will be sufficiently mature enough for the mainstream desktop user.

Anyway, this isn't specifically about Microsoft. Its about DRM in general. Its being forced down our throats. The only people that stand in the way are computer scienists and researchers who have the knowledge and the expertise to overcome these delibrate obstacles that we call DRM.

To me, DRM is equivalent to a forced rectum examination.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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