Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hacking DVDs

Well, this didn't seem to last long.

The companies behind an encryption system for high-definition DVDs are looking into a hacker's claim that he has cracked the code protecting the new discs from piracy, a spokesman for one of the companies said on Thursday.

A hacker known as Muslix64 posted on the Internet details of how he unlocked the encryption, known as the Advanced Access Content System, which prevents high-definition discs from illegal copying by restricting which devices can play them.

The AACS system was developed by companies including Walt Disney Co., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. to protect high-definition formats, including Toshiba's HD-DVD and Sony's Blu-ray.

There seems to be something of a conceptual problem with almost all of these forms of encryption. If it's going to be simple enough that it can actually be used effecively, then it has to be simple enough that someone can hack it. I'm not sure if there is actually a way around this at all.

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