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The tool that arnezami and muslix64 used to defeat AACS

The HD DVD that gave up its Processing Key for all to use
One key to decrypt them all

Last December, a hacker named “Muslix64” circumvented HD DVD copy protection, resulting in the release of pirated copies on the Internet. Less than one month later, the same Muslix64, with the help of another hacker, was able to crack the encryption on Blu-ray Discs.

On Sunday, another Doom9 forum poster named “arnezami” presented the next great breakthrough in HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc decryption. Previously, every HD movie needed its own unique key in order to be decrypted; but with arnezami’s discovery, there is one key to rule them all -- at least for now, until the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator gets on it.

What arnezami found was the Processing Key, which appears to be the silver bullet in decrypting all existing HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs. Arnezami was armed only with an Xbox 360 HD DVD player and the bundled King Kong movie. Other Doom9 forum contributors posted their keys to HD DVD movies such as The Departed and Spy Game, which were proved decryptable using the Processing Key.

Figuring that the copy protection schemes on Blu-ray Disc are similar to HD DVD, other posters reported data from Talladega Nights and House of Flying Daggers, which were also decrypted using the Processing Key found from King Kong.

Arnezami unlocked the secrets to HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc encryption without the use of any hacked software or hardware. “Most of the time I spend studying the AACS papers,” he wrote. “A good understanding of how things worked have helped me greatly in knowing what to find in the first place (and how to recognize something).”

Arnezami started his quest by finding the Volume ID to King Kong, which motivated him to find the Media Key. After a few trial and error attempts, arnezami had the idea to of watching the data move from the HD DVD drive to the memory on his computer. “What I wanted to do is ‘record’ all changes in this part of memory during startup of the movie,” he wrote in his explanation. “Hopefully I would catch something interesting.”

“In the end I did something a little more efficient: I used the HD DVD VUK extractor and adapted it to slow down the software player (while scanning its memory continuously) and at the very moment the Media Key was detected it halted the player,” arnezami continued. “I then made a memdump with WinHex.”

Using this method, arnezami found that his first C-value was a hit, leading to the discovery of the Processing Key. “I now had the feeling I had something,” he said.

Arnezami isn’t revealing which software player he used to expose the key information for fear that the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator would crackdown on the software developer. What he did want to say, however, is that he made his discovery simply by watching the data as it passed through his system.



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By Quryous on 2/14/2007 9:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
Despite the many so-called advances in Vista, a topic of major concern for many users is not what it will enable you to do, but what it could prevent you from doing. Vista has been designed from the ground up to support Digital Rights Management (DRM) in ways never before possible under Windows. New output content protection mechanisms are designed to protect premium’ (usually meaning paid-for) content against physical interception and copying. Outputs that do not support DRM, or are deemed insecure, must be turned off before playback can proceed. This is called Protected Video Path — Output Protection Management (PVP-OPM). Device drivers must agree to switch off these outputs at the request of the operating system and have to undergo a certification process to verify their compliance. Protected Video Path — User-Accessible Bus (PVP-UAB) ensures that premium content, such as HD video, is encrypted as it passes over the PCI Express bus to your graphics card. This prevents any electronic snooping on the data by hardware devices. Protected User Mode Audio (PUMA) provides similar protection for audio content, again allowing for content producers to insist that insecure outputs be disabled before playback.

The practical application of these technologies is highly complex and well beyond what a typical consumer could be expected to understand. DRM adds a whole layer of potential incompatibilities, with few perceived end-user benefits. For this reason, many users are justifiably wary of installing Vista and buying new hardware, especially displays, that may prevent them accessing content in the future, It’s an area that’s seeing a lot of activity at the moment, and HD content providers are certainly being wary of implementing DRM fully for now. The impact of these technologies remains to be seen, but unless they work transparently without inconveniencing users, only the pirates will benefit.




“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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