A contest of wills has begun between hackers and the maker of software for playing back next-generation DVDs. Skeptics say that the outcome is all too predictable. Corel Software said in a statement last week that customers must download a new update of its InterVideo WinDVD software if they wish to continue watching HD DVD or Blu-ray discs on PCs.
The move has been anticipated since December, when a hacker accessed the device key used to communicate with the security keys on each movie disc. By compromising the key, the hacker could have made and circulated unauthorized copies of movies. The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator, the group backing the AACS copy-protection format used by both Blu-ray and HD DVD, also announced that it was doing away with the compromised keys.
The creators of AACS, which includes IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Panasonic, anticipated that their security keys might be hacked. To stay a step ahead of the hackers, they designed a system that allowed them to swap out compromised keys.
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