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AACS HD-DVD Encryption Key

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Tagged As: Hacking and Security

HD-DVD (High Definition DVD) utilizes a protection scheme called AACS (Advanced Access Content System) to prevent unauthorized copying of the discs. One of the keys was cracked in early 2007 by exploiting a weaknessin a WinDVD product. Shortly thereafter, the 32 digit, hexadecimal number was uploaded onto an Internet bulletin board and HD movies began appearing on torrent download sites. As the key slowly spread across the Internet, lawyers began dispatching cease-and-desist notices to websites, ordering the removal of the controversial code. The matter went mostly unnoticed until the popular, user-driven website Digg removed references to the code. Almost immediately, users began submitting story after story containing the key code within the title and subject lines, dominating Digg's front page material on May 2nd. Following the onslaught, Digg acquiesced, "We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be."

Much like "DVD-Jon's" creation, the DeCSS (Content Scrambling System) key cracking software released in 1999, an obscure code became an overnight sensation via the Internet. Just as the original DeCSS key found its way onto T-Shirts, the number 167317762 2641683291 3628160709 1666615488 (shown here as four, 32bit decimal numbers) has already migrated into song to masquerade as protected speech/art. The key in question, however, had already been revoked by AACS prior to the Internet publicity storm. Hackers in turn responded with additional cracks, claiming to survive any future key revocations.

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