Pirates may have cracked Apple’s iTunes 4K movie encryption

The pirate movie market could be set for an influx of iTunes 4K content after it appeared one industrious user managed to decrypt Apple’s format for the first time.

TorrentFreak reports a high-quality copy of DC’s Aquaman movie has appeared online, boasting a 2160p resolution. A quick inspection of the file name suggested the source is Apple’s very own iTunes Store.

The title, ‘Aquaman.2018.2160p.WEB-DL.DDP5.1.HDR.HEVC-MOMA’ offers the telltale sign. The WEB-DL rip is traditionally used to capture video from DRM-enabled streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.

Given the 4K version of the film isn’t widely available yet (and certainly not on Netflix or Amazon) it appears this file came directly from iTunes. It’s appearance also coincided with the launch of the movie on iTunes.

Related: What is 4K Ultra HD?

In the meantime, similar versions of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Can You Ever Forgive Me appeared on torrent sites, the report reveals.

“Looks like MOMA managed to somehow decrypt 2160p iTunes,” said one torrent site user, who said this was “amazing news because there’s a lot of 4k iTunes-only content out there.”

One source familiar with Apple’s protocols and protections believes the file may have emerged from a vulnerability within Apple’s tvOS. He also believes it will be plugged extremely quickly, if iTunes is indeed the source.

He said: “Apple has 4k only on Apple TV running tvOS. I assume they skipped checks, if the device is jailbroken, and someone just dumped the encrypted stream and decrypted it via what’s in memory as keys,” says our source, who prefers to remain anonymous.

“I’m pretty sure Apple will react fast and block it via updates because they don’t have to keep compatibility with any devices like the iTunes desktop version.”

The report also notes the files may have been mislabelled, so there’s a slight chance iTunes may not be the source. However, Apple has yet to comment on the report.

Are you noticing more 4K content pop up on torrent sites? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.