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AACS DRM cracked by BackupHDDVD tool?

Can it be? Is Hollywood's new DRM posterchild AACS (Advanced Access Content System, see more here) actually quite breakable? According to a post on our favoritest of forums (Doom9) by DRM hacker du jour muslix64, his new BackupHDDVD tool decrypts and dismantles AACS on a Windows PC. Just feed the small utility a crypto key (it comes bundled with keys for a few popular HD DVD titles, with the promise of more on the way), and it'll dump the video right off the disc onto your hard drive, supposedly playable in any HD DVD compatible player. If true, this would instantly become the DeCSS of high def optical (where you at, Jon?), as AACS is the copy protection scheme used not only by HD DVD, but by Blu-ray as well. Code and source posted in read link, let us know what you find!

Note: We're working on testing this ourselves, we'll report back with our findings asap.

[Thanks, Max and Adam]

Update: Well, it definitely does something. Click on for some pics and our experiences using the app.

So we have our Xbox 360 HD DVD plugged into our system with the Toshiba HD DVD / UFS 2.5 file system drivers going on, and are able to read the directory contents (drive G:).

We pulled the TRAILER.EVO file down and named it encrypted_TRAILER.EVO. We then ran BackupHDDVD on the disc (Full Metal Jacket).

We quit after we hit TRAILER.EVO, since that's what we wanted to compare against.

We then ran a binary compare against the two. You'd think an unencrypted movie file would have more than just a few hex offsets changed by the unencryption process, but we haven't yet been able to test playing back the files, namely because WinDVD and PowerDVD both totally blow as demos. More shortly.

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DudeinAmerica @ Dec 27th 2006 6:31PM

Awesome sountrack that is.. YaY Fair Use!

 Replies: 1  |  Reply
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sc00ter @ Dec 27th 2006 6:34PM


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Jesse @ Dec 27th 2006 6:35PM

How the hell do you get the crypto is it something leak by an internal source is someone cracking these? Kind of shady until that is reveled

 Replies: 1  |  Reply
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Das @ Dec 27th 2006 7:01PM

Assuming that this is legit, major props to muslix64 for figuring this out, and giving the rest of us a route around that draconian DRM.

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Joe C @ Dec 27th 2006 7:02PM

Wonder if this has been tried out on a blu-ray then again i dont have a blu-ray drive for my pc just my ps3.

 Replies: 1  |  Reply
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John Doe @ Dec 27th 2006 7:07PM

This is rather pointless, isnt it?
As I recall, the studios can just change the encryption, or the key or something, so the cracking gets rendered useless.
(they did this after deCSS

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Jeff Foster @ Dec 27th 2006 7:07PM

by the time engadget hears about ANYTHING, it's far too late to "save the underground"

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Max @ Dec 27th 2006 7:11PM


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What The @ Dec 27th 2006 7:30PM

Blu-Ray also uses AACS, however, it has BD+ Copy protection and watermarking as well! So they will need to do a lot more to crack blu-ray completely (which is why 90% of hollywood supports blu-ray). This is horrible news for HD-DVD, especially with CES so close. The show was already going to be 99% blu-ray, now add the humility of everyone bashing HD-DVD for being cracked first.

Now, where will these pretty files end up showing up for "private" use? haha, Viva La Blu-Ray!

 Replies: 2  |  Reply
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Ryan Block @ Dec 27th 2006 7:52PM

Wow, I've never heard someone cheer on a "superior" DRM before!

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Person157 @ Dec 27th 2006 7:53PM

@ DudeinAmerica
The soundtrack is the song from Matrix Reloaded. The scene where Neo fights the lil asian dude in the teahouse. From memory I think the song is actually called Teahouse but no idea who did it.

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Mack Swift @ Dec 27th 2006 7:54PM

Now with all those different keys for all those movies, you'd think someone, somewhere would figure out the master key once enough of the movie keys are collected? Should be an interesting battle, as the studios will obviously keep changing the key, but still need to keep original movies with the original key compatible. It was only a matter of time before this happened anyways.

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Bah @ Dec 27th 2006 8:13PM

The DRM is not broken by this. He implemented the decryption algorithm which, as far as I know, is publically available and not a secret. You still can't access the content without knowing the key. The key is (supposed to be) hidden in the hardware (or software). And if a key is compromised it can be revoked (future titles won't play on the device where you got the key from).

So, you can decrypt the DVD if you know the key. This was *always* the case. Everyone knows this. (Everyone with a clue anyway).
In short, this is nothing.

CSS (for DVDs) was different in two ways: 1. The device key couldn't be easily revoked 2. The encryption was weak so that the key could be generated automatically. That's how/why CSS was broken.

AACS suffers from neither of these weaknesses and AACS has not been broken.

 Replies: 2  |  Reply
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Earl @ Dec 27th 2006 8:18PM

I love it! These big corporations are spending BIG $$ for all this DRM. Then some guy cracks it.
How long has this been the trend now?
There's nothing they can do about it.
Sure they can change the encryption, but with HD-DVD players already out there is only so much the encryption can be changed. They couldn't come up with a brand new scheme. Can't screw over all the early adopters.

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Syphon Filter @ Dec 27th 2006 8:20PM

Is anyone suprised?

Also to those singing praises to Blu-Ray for still being will happen and when it does the net result will be the same.

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Dan @ Dec 27th 2006 8:25PM

if the movie industry makes it, we will break it

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Mike @ Dec 27th 2006 7:47PM

Makes me wonder if this guy is part of the Blu-ray contingent. Interesting coincidence when you consider that CES is a couple weeks away.

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Henry @ Dec 27th 2006 8:31PM

Yeah the song is called Teahouse and it's by Juno Reactor and Gocoo.

When is the man ever gonna learn that no matter what sort of copyright protection scemes he dreams up, the people will find a way to circumvent them?

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netdroid9 @ Dec 27th 2006 8:58PM

...Well... How do HDDVD players get the key? It always struck me as odd that it was so damn hard to decrypt a DVD when it played perfectly well on PowerDVD, WinDVD and all the other DVD playing software. Can't we just hook whatever they use for decryption/key-obtaining and be done with it?

 Replies: 1  |  Reply
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Russell @ Dec 27th 2006 7:53PM

Very nice... What The, Why would you champion bluray over hddvd now?

Think of what DVD has become since CSS was broken. We can now transcode DVD's to divx to store on a media center PC networked with any devices in the house in any format, we can put DVD's on our ipods/PMP's / PDAs and can make backup copies.

Since the actual Title encryption key was ripped from memory this isn't about revoking a player's key I think. Even a revoked player should be able to decode the volume/title keys. All it takes is one player software and some unprotected memory (Thanks Windows XP, it may be a LOT harder in Vista)

 Replies: 1  |  Reply

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