Blu-ray copy protection busted wide open


— 11:03 AM on September 17, 2010

In the world of copy-protection schemes, if you build it, they will crack it. Eventually. This time around, it's Blu-ray's turn to be busted wide open. A purported HDCP master key was posted online a couple of days ago, and after investigating, Intel has confirmed to PCMag that it's legit.

BitTorrent regulars will know that HDCP hasn't exactly stopped pirates from sharing copyrighted HD content. However, the release of the master key will allow prying types to gain access to the raw digital bitstream sent out to displays. Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop doesn't necessarily think we'll see software use the key to tap into that bitstream. Instead, Waldrop predicts that the key will be embedded in silicon and used to decode Blu-ray content via hardware.

If you're interested, the 376-line master key isn't terribly difficult to find online. Unfortunately, unlike the handful of lines of code required to crack a plain old DVD, the HDCP key is probably a little too large to print on a tshirt.

   
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