High definition anti-piracy DRM possibly hacked

Friday, December 29, 2006

Several companies that designed the encryption system for DVDs with a high definition are currently analyzing the claim of a hacker, who said to have cracked the code protecting new generation DVDs from illegal copying. This was stated by a representative of one of the companies on Thursday, December 28.

Muslix64 is the name of the hacker that announced the details of the process he performed in order to unlock the encryption. The purpose of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is to prevent pirate copying. It is supposed to restrict the devices that are able to play the DVDs.

Such companies like Walt Disney Co., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. were the ones to create the encryption so to defend the high-definition formats. The latter encompass HD-DVD format developed by Toshiba, with a series of other corporations, and Blu-ray format developed by Sony and its partners in this enterprise.

The hacker launched on a famous hacker website his decryption codes and posted a short film on a video site. The film displayed the process of copying several films, like "Full Metal Jacket" by Warner Bros and "Van Helsing" brought by Universal Studios.

Muslix64 also mentioned that he is going to post some more source codes on the second day of the New Year. According to his words the codes will allow copying a wider variety of titles.

The inability of companies to protect their production could find themselves in a difficult situation. This concerns especially those that have the goal of boosting their revenues. They are aware of the fact that the standard DVD format is not as popular as it was. The sales of DVD movies in 2005 gained around 24 billion dollars for the industry of movie making.

The technology expert Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wrote on the ZDNet.com (tech-site) that the decryption code developed by Muslix64 looks quite genuine. He also mentioned that the decryption code for HD-DVD might give some advantages for those that look forward to backup discs. However in general none of the rival formats will be in advantage of this possible hack.