Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

Summary: When news broke on Tuesday that the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) master key had been leaked, no one was sure if it was the real deal or not. Now we do, as Intel, one of the companies that helped develop the HDCP, confirms that it is genuine.

TOPICS: Intel, Hardware, Security

When news broke on Tuesday that the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) master key had been leaked, no one was sure if it was the real deal or not. Now we do, as Intel, one of the companies that helped develop the HDCP, confirms that it is genuine.

"We can use it to generate valid device keys that do interoperate with the (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) protocol," Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop told CNET today.

But ... Intel believes that the code won't open the floodgates to unlicensed HDCP devices capable of playing back pirated discs because the key needs to implemented on a chip. However, the company has not ruled out the possibility that it could be incorporated into a software decoder:

As a practical matter, the most likely scenario for a hacker would be to create a computer chip with the master key embedded it, that could be used to decode Blu-ray discs. A software decoder is unlikely, "but I'd never say never," Waldrop said.

I wouldn't be so sure. Time and time again the hype surrounding the encryption and DRM mechanisms used to protect media has come crashing down to earth as hackers find ways to defeat them.

If I had to place money on either big business or the hackers, I'd bet on the ingenuity of the hacking community to leverage this find.

Still no word on how this master key was uncovered.

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Security

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  • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

    I am not surprised about this in the slightest, Hopefully, this will lead to a way that VGA connections can be passed off to HDCP-enabled programs as 'secure connections' and we can FINALLY start using only VGA-connections again.

    DVI and HDMI are good, but they have a HUGE problem with them: sometimes, they don't detect correctly.
  • I'm quite certain we'll pay somehow...

    The Media companies will make sure of that. Consumers will be the one's that get borked over this whole deal, whether it means a change in HDCP/HDMI that renders current devices unusable for future media, or something similar.

    Consumers have always been mowed down by these companies in their efforts to be paranoid, and I see this issue being no different.

    • Firmware upgrades

      @BitTwiddler - <br><br>More than likely (as I've found already with some Blu-Ray movies), the cost for most consumers will be the requirement of a "firmware" update. Unlike DVD players, pretty much every Blu-Ray player on the market today has an ethernet port and upgradeable firmware. Changing the key on new discs isn't going to be as hard for media companies as it was in DVD-player land.<br><br>I've already had to update my Blu-Ray player to play Avatar and Toy Story discs that I just bought - I wouldn't be surprised if it were a DRM key update that I was really applying, moreso than anything else.
      • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

        'Changing the key on new discs isn't going to be as hard for media companies as it was in DVD-player land.'
        It would be nice if it were that simple. Unfortunately they have cracked the 'Master Key' from which ALL hdcp keys are generated. making it impossible for a key change without changing ALL hdcp devices simultaneously.
  • Industry: New/Better/Higher resolution format on the way!

    You watch - the industry will release a "new" and "better" video format, which, of course, will use a new DRM key. Blu-Ray is dead, long live New-Ray!!
    Bruce Lang
    • Not BluRay - more like HDMI v1.4

      @bdlang So expect anything supporting HDMI v1.4 or earlier to be made obsolete now. Long live HDMI 2.0!
      • Yes, obsolete - and backward incompatible too.

        @Zogg Long live the new spec! (until new spec_x)
        Bruce Lang
  • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

    I'd hate to be a PR person of Intel or a media company right now. They know they've been owned. They know WE KNOW they've been owned, yet they have to put a smiling face and say it ain't so ... Pathetic
    Anyway, this was perfect timing for this to happen. Decoder boxes coming from China will be readily available for this upcoming holiday season. Preorder yours today!!!! :D
  • Time and time again...

    These execs do this dance of spending millions on a DRM scheme only to have hackers (or a likely industry insider in this case) blow it out of the water. No surprise.<br><br>I'd swear the group of them were repeatedly dropped on their heads as children.<br><br>Somewhere along the lines, they forget that if you treat people like criminals long enough, they will start acting like criminals. This has been DRM in a nutshell for decades. They also use the DRM to make sure that their exorbitant profits are maintained. This is their way of defeating fair market. "We can charge as much as we want because we hold all the cards." They made a deliberate decision along the way that shafting fewer number of people for more money would be the better route.<br><br>Maybe, just maybe, if they lowered prices people would feel like they could afford these things and buy them, thus making up for the fact that the prices aren't as high. Oooooh, complicated business model, that.<br><br>I'm not advocating piracy, but people will pirate. Doesn't matter whether it's got DRM or not. Putting DRM on something just inconveniences the regular guy and smacks the hackers in the face with a steel gauntlet and dares them to defeat it. Just like the execs battle for their own corporate fiefdoms, the hackers battle "the man" who in their eyes are trying to oppress. Paint a target on your back (DRM) and they will take a shot at you. And, they will win because you've made it personal for them.
    • RE: because we hold all the cards.


      But you forget one important thing, in the end, we the consumer holds the most important card - our money.

      All of this is in industries that are NOT ESSENTIAL elements to living. Music and videos are not basic life requirements; unless, of course, you are some over indulged teenager. They are discretionary spending. You have the DISCRETION not to spend your money on this stuff.

      The best thing you can do is to vote with your wallet. Media companies want to treat their customers like criminals; then AFAIAC, f--- them if they can not take a joke!
      • Ah, a sane perspective at last...

        @fatman65535 <br>I couldn't agree more. So many people - here and in the real world - run around moaning and whinging about the price of things: ciggies, booze, computers, fashion clothes, ipads, games, music, movies - you name it. And yet, MOST of the things that people are moaning about are COMPLETELY non-essential to life. We in the "lust for pleasure" west might THINK that these things are essential, but in fact they are far from it. The "entitled generation" might be being foisted these lies by the globalists to keep them indebted & enslaved (which BTW is the whole goal of consumerism - has nothing to do with capitalism in the slightest), but they sign up for and believe the lies.<br>We all have plenty of choice in life: turn the TV off & do something constructive, or sit there and let the socialist revisionist dogma indoctrinate us & waste our lives away; pay for the content we "consume" to make our tedious lives in the gold cage more bearable, or choose to do something more useful with our money; etc etc. The only true needs we have in life are basic accommodation and clothing and food, the love of a significant other, and fruitful work to turn our hands to. All the rest is extras.
  • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

    "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
  • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

    DRM stops casual copiers, not serious pirates.

    Unfortunately, it also makes using the technology so much of a hassle that many of us opt out and simply consume less Hollywood. I know I do -- I own about 2000 movies (none pirated) but lately I purchase only a few a year.
    • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal


      Or, if we are SMART, join those people who are called pirates.... as they say "YO HO HO!"
  • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

    Well, it's ABOUT TIME! Thank you, Hackers!
  • What about putting it into a Xilinx?

    It may not be cost effective, but what about putting the key into a programmable part such as a Xilinx?

    Besides, for $250 the HDFury 3 already does a pretty good job of taking HDCP streams over HDMI and producing a component output.
  • RE: Leaked HDCP key is the real deal

    This is great just in time for the 3d format wars!!! - cheap 3d format converters, :~)