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AACS Fights Back: Keys Revoked and Software Update Mandatory!

Posted by Stephane Dion

The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) has responded to hack attacks that allow unfettered access to Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content by pulling the encryption keys of PC applications associated with the attack.

The move makes it impossible to play newly released high-definition movies via versions of playback software, including versions of Intervideo WinDVD 8.

WinDVD 8 users need to update their software. The patch will close the security hole by refreshing the encryption keys.

AACS LA said it had worked with manufacturers to revoke affected application encryption keys.

Pulling the keys became necessary after hackers worked out a way to discover content protection keys. The hackers sniffed out the keys using an approach based on figuring out memory changes made after playing high-def discs on their PCs.

No one doubts that the hackers will come back with the new keys very rapidly. If AACS LA really wants to play that game, the HD industry is going to suffer a lot from it. The average consumer that paid a hefty price will be the one that pays for that fight. The AACS LA should really think about their strategy before making this kind of upgrade mandatory each time a key is found by a hacker.

Here's a timeline of the recent key dates according to a post on Doom9:

  • 2006-12-13 muslix64 decrypts first HDDVD movie, using title key from software player [5]
  • 2006-12-18 Muslix64 posts famous YouTube video showing use of BackupHDDVD [5]
  • 2006-12-20 Muslix64 releases AACS decryption implementation [5]
  • 2006-12-21 Muslix64 finds volume unique key, updates BackupHDDVD [5]
  • 2007-01-28 Slysoft confirms working decryption product in alpha status [1]
  • 2007-02-05 Slysoft confirms beta status of AnyDVD HD[2]
  • 2007-02-24 WinDVD 8 device key found [3]
  • 2007-03-03 PowerDVD 7 private key found [4]
  • 2007-03-18 Studio Canal delays new HD DVD releases [7]
  • 2007-04-04 Geremia extracts VolumeID without AACS authentication [6]
  • 2007-04-06 Corel releases security update for WinDVD [8]

Via 

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