AACS may be broken, but not BluRay

Written by Brett Thomas

January 5, 2007 | 14:22

Tags: #aacs #bd #bluray #hd-dvd

By this point, you may understandably be sick of hearing about HD content and the DRM that is applied to it. We all knew it would be cracked, and so when muslix64 dropped our Christmas present on YouTube!, it was more of a sigh of relief than surprise. However, though the content on HD-DVDs may soon be streaming to a P2P site near you, don't expect BluRay to.

I received an email today from a PR firm representing CRI, who had read our recent coverage of the muslix64 hack that I thought you guys might wish to know. CRI, also known as Cryptography Research Inc., is responsible for a seperate protection layer called BD+. The BD+ system is in addition to the standard AACS, and functions in a completely different manner.

This particular encryption is only available on BluRay titles, but does not use the same "player key/title key" that AACS does. According to the company, it's more of a failsafe for piracy attacks, allowing studios to deactivate pirated copies without revoking player keys at all. So, for BluRay at least, one of the greatest threats to consumers (entire players being deactivated to prevent piracy) may not be such a threat after all.

I'll leave you with one salient quote from the email, but you can be rest assured that I'll be getting a hold of these chaps to find out more about the BD+ system.

"BD+ is a ground-breaking security technology which is designed to enable HD optical formats to recover from major piracy attacks without revoking players or affecting legitimate users. It is a safe-guard that is only available for studios releasing titles in the Blu-ray disc format. BD+ does not exist for the HD DVD format, and was not compromised in the Muslix64 hack.

"A report released by Independent Security Evaluators affirmed that CRI's Self-Protecting Digital Content, the principal architecture behind BD+, significantly enhances the anti-piracy measures in AACS by providing critical format security needs not addressed by AACS alone."

Could the security differences be enough to sway more studios towards BluRay? Would you guys be interested in learning more about BD+ and the other forms of DRM on HD? Let us know in our forums.
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