Next-Gen DVD DRM Hacked—Maybe

By Bryan Gardiner  |  Posted 2006-12-29

It was supposed to be unbreakable; a next-gen DRM solution. Yet a hacker named Muslix64 is now claiming he has cracked the Advanced Access Content System (AACS), the standard that is currently used by companies like Disney, Warner Brothers, IBM, Toshiba, Microsoft, and Sony to protect their high-definition HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs.

On Wednesday, Muslix64 posted BackupHDDVD, a tool for decrypting AACS protected movies, on a Doom 9 forum thread along with the volume and title keys needed to decrypt HD-DVD movies such as Full Metal Jacket and Van Helsing.

Muslix64s alleged exploit comes only a few months after hackers discovered that a copy of any still frame from within a film could be produced using the Print Screen function of Windows OS.

At the time, it was theorized that one could make a perfect copy of an entire film using this approach—in much the same way DVD films were copied before the advent of DeCSS, a computer program for decrypting content on a DVD disc that used the older Content-Scrambling System (CSS) standard. This method produces output data in the form of decompressed video as opposed to compressed video from the disc.

Content that is AACS-protected is encrypted using one or more title keys, according to the AACA home page. These keys are usually derived from a combination of a media key and other elements such as the physical serial number embedded on a DVD and a cryptographic hash of the title usage rules.

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