Friday, June 01, 2007
Cory Doctorow's post on the latest hacking success against DVD copy protection
This today from Cory Doctorow posting on BoingBoing. Talk about a literacy to die for.
Doctorow reports "a remarkable conversation" he had with an anonymous tipster's account of the latest AACS key leak. Doctorow summarises the chain of events since February associated with unlocking AACS copyright of HD-DVD movies. In February the now legendary arnezami discovered and published the 128-bit number which could be used to strip the encryption from HD-DVD titles. Cease and desist tactics on the part of The Protectors led to a dazzling meme that made the code ubiquitous for anyone knowing how to make use of it.
The response from the movie studies, starting a week ago, was to modify all new titles so the key could not decrypt them. With this, hackers began searching for a new key.
Doctorow reports that meanwhile Ed Felten set off a small satirical meme querying the idea of anyone claiming legal rights to a number, and posting his own randomly generated 128-bit integer. Others followed suit in faux authoritarian vein. e.g.,
B8 5C 6D 1E 07 F9 AB 5E 0F 0D 48 A5 3B 1F 6B C7
use it and ill sue! be prepared!"
Amidst the messages came one from BtCB that contained a reference back to arnezami.
45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B2
What are the odds that this is the new processing key?
(Hint for arnezami: uv=00000047)"
According to Doctorow, someone eventually informed arnezami about the strange comment, "and he tried using the 45 5F … number to decrypt the new discs. It worked! It really is the new processing key. As a result, all HD-DVDs are open to the public again, at least until new titles can be updated once more.
The next move belongs to the AACS authorities. They're smart enough to know that they can't take the food coloring out of the pool. So will they send out another round of cease-and-desist letters, possibly sparking another revolt, or will they graciously admit defeat for now?"
It's a wonderful tale.