AACS next-gen content protection cracked?

The new Advanced Access Content System used in Blu-ray and HD DVD discs has reportedly been decrypted

For months, we've heard how bullet-proof the new Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is. This is the system used in Blu-ray and HD DVD discs to protect content stored on disc from illegal duplication.

Well, one user has reportedly found a way to decrypt discs protected by the system--and is offering this program for download via the Internet. (I have not yet independently confirmed that this utility works as claimed; other sites, including Engadget, are reporting this story as well.)

Late yesterday, a user called Muslix64 [posted] a vague methodology description on a Doom9.org forum. That user also included a link to a [YouTube video] he'd created, and uploaded a version of his BackupHDDVD software--described as a Java-based command line utility--to RapidShare.com. His approach includes supplying both the volume key and title key in order to decrypt AACS-encoded disc titles.

One report I've seen says the program includes keys for Full Metal Jacket, Van Helsing, Tomb Raider, Apollo 13, The Last Samurai and The Fugitive.

Either this user will be gaining a whole lot of notoriety for claiming this feat; or, a whole lot of net fame (people still salute DVD Jon , the Norwegian who famously cracked CSS encryption on DVD discs).

If true, though, the breaking of AACS marks a dark day for providers of high-definition content on next-gen Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. And, it marks a dark day for consumers, too--fair use arguments aside, I imagine that if AACS has been hacked, in the future, we'll pay for this evolution through more draconian security measures than ever before.

I'll follow this story and report on developments as they happen.

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