Intel has confirmed that HDCP, the encryption used to protect Blu-ray, has been cracked.
Earlier this week, the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) master key was posted onto an internet forum, and Intel has admitted that it could be used to create illegal keys.
HDCP is a digital system that creates a key that all devices must recognise when connected together in order to play back Blu-ray or other HD content at full resolution. The technology was created by Intel and licenced to all HDTV, set-top box and Blu-ray manufacturers.
Speaking to FoxNews.com Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop admitted that the code has been cracked. "It does appear to be a master key," he said. "What we have confirmed through testing is that you can derive keys for devices from this published material that do work with the keys produced by our security technology.”
However, once you have this key, you’ll need to be pretty handy with a screwdriver if you want to do anything with it, as you’d need to build it into silicon to be able to make use of it and then put it in a device. Doing it just in software would be too slow Waldrop believes, at least at the moment – though chips that are good at doing things like this, from say, Intel, do tend to get faster quite quickly.
In the meantime though, it would preclude being able to pop a Blu-ray disc in your machine and rip it to your hard drive, as was possible once DVD Jon cracked the DeCSS encryption code used for DVD.
It means though that Intel and the rest of the industry must face up to cheap Blu-ray players and displays coming out of Chinese factories that bypass HDCP. Waldrop said that Intel would take action if this came to fruition.
"We will use the appropriate remedies to address the issue, where we choose to," Waldrop said.