Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

DVD cracks

------- Forwarded message follows ------- To: Subject: DVD cracks Copies to: Copies to: From: Julian Assange <> Date sent: 01 Nov 1999 18:14:46 +1100

[from ntk] Just when you thought you'd wait forever for a free DVD player, along come two cracks at once. The first was the leaking onto the Linux LIVID player mailing list of the DVD Content Scrambling System code used by the Jon Johansen's cracker for Windows, DeCSS. Bits of the code was already written and GPL'd by Derek Fawcus - which means that the rest of the code could end up under GPL - hence the leak. More importantly, though, it also meant that the CSS decryption algorithm was now open to public scrutiny. It only took a few hours to confirm what everyone's been suspecting for a while. The CSS decryption system sucks. It works by storing a whole bunch of keys on each DVD. Industry overseers, the DVD Forum, hand out one matching decryption key to each manufacturer: if any of these company's equipment got cracked, future DVD disc's were to be pressed without this key, making the crack (and that company's hardware) unusable with new movies. Quite whether the Forum would ever dare to carry out this threat against its own licensees is unclear. It's a bit moot now, though, since open cryptanalysis of the CSS algorithm showed that it was possible to brute force *all* of the current keys in a few days. In order to preserve the system, the DVD Forum would have to disable all keys, turning every hardware player sold so far into a pile of scrap iron. Boy, these Hollywood guys are *smart*, aren't they? - the story in a nutshell - next round: let me see you wobble those tracks

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