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HDCP Key protecting Blu-ray content streams has been leaked

The High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) master key protecting Blu-ray drives and many other devices, which had been leaked and posted on the Internet last week, has been confirmed as legitimate by Intel representatives, reports.

HDCP is the content encryption system that protects data, typically movies, as they pass across a DVI or an HDMI cable. The disclosure means that the content flowing over the encrypted HDMI connection may be potentially recorded, decrypted and authenticated using an unlicensed device. In short, encrypted movies can be copied.

HDCP was created by Intel and is administered by Digital Content Protection LLP. The HDCP key was posted to the Internet last Tuesday, where it was quickly picked up and disseminated via Twitter and other social media links, says Intel said it has informed hundreds of its licensees and partners of the breach.

A company spokesperson, quoted in, says Intel still believes that the HDCP technology represents a legitimate protection. He suggested that now, however, the content industry will have to turn to legal remedies if pirated material is detected. reminds that weaknesses in the HDCP protocol have been known since 2001.

Reacting to the news, an expert on the professional DVD/Blu-ray networking platform DVDList points out that what has actually occurred is that AACS remains mostly intact, but Intel confirmed earlier reports that the HDCP key-generating algorithm has been cracked thus making video streams generated by BD players at least theoretically vulnerable. “As the article notes, using this information to write a DeCSS-style software decoder would be tricky, but it wouldn't be too hard for stream-hijackers to jigger up little hardware modules capable of decoding HDCP streams.”

Story filed 19.09.10

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