German Research University Breaks HDCP Protection used in Blu-ray

The  Ruhr-Universität is a renowned research university in Germany known for its vulnerability researches. The last time I heard of them, was when they broke the  W3C standard for XML encryption. This time, they have taken a hit at High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which is used in  HDMI or DVI-compliant playback devices. This same technology is used to playback Blu-ray media from over an encrypted channel. HDCP was broken into last year (or so it seemed). However, this time, the crack is confirmed.

A Slashdot discussion sums up  the implications  as,

On an HDMI cable, the actual encryption that takes place is specific to keys on both sides, so cannot generally be universally cracked. If a vendor key becomes compromised, future Blu-Ray players can blacklist it.  What makes this solution useful, is that it’s just about the only way to crack the encryption on-the-wire without having to open anything up or solder anything, and it can’t be prevented by simply blacklisting vendor keys.

Intel vouched for HDCP when a master key was leaked last year. However, this year,  Ruhr-Universität has found a way past master keys and has a way to bypass this system completely.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tim Güneysu working with final year student  Benno Lomb has said,

We developed an independent hardware solution instead, based on a cheap FPGA board.  We were able to tap the HDCP encrypted data streams, decipher them and send the digital content to an unprotected screen via a corresponding HDMI 1.3-compatible receiver.

This is a Man-in-the-middle attack. The vulnerability is a risk and can be broken with a device costing 200 euros. It is a cheap method to break a high-value encryption that the media industry spent a lot of money and put a lot of hope in.

Sony Playstation 3 Firmware 3.50 Is Out; Supports Playback Of 3D Blu-Ray Movies

Sony has just pushed out a firmware update for the PlayStation 3 which adds support for playback of 3D Blu-Ray movies. Of course to playback 3D Blu-ray movies on your PS3, users need to make sure that they have a 3D compatible TV.PS3 3.50 Firmware update

Other changes in this firmware update includes :

* Facebook Integration: Developers will be able to create PS3 games that have deep interaction with Facebook. Once compatible PS3 titles are available, PS3 users can choose to access their information on Facebook including user name, profile, photos and friends list to enhance their gameplay experience.

* Grief Reporting Function: Users can send claim reports directly from the XMB for any inappropriate messages they receive from other PlayStation Network users. This feature is accessible from the option menu of the messages list in the FRIENDS category.

Users need to set their HDMI setting on Auto, and the PS3 will automatically detect your 3D supported TV and do the rest for you.


Wipro To Offer Blu-Ray Devices & Services In Association With Philips

Wipro + Philips Deals Blu-Ray Disc

Wipro Tech has entered into a strategic deal with Philips to provide Blu-Ray solutions in the Indian Market. According to the exact specifications of the deal, Wipro Tech can now offer Blu-ray middleware and solution development services related to the new   Blu-ray technology all developed by Philips.

Blu-Ray aka BD or The Blu-Ray disc is an optical storage medium aimed at storing high definition content like hi-def videos and games and can store upto 25GB and 50GB of content on single and double layered optical discs respectively. This technology had initially faced some competition from the HD-DVD standard but the competition is now over with major movie distribution houses switching to Blu-Ray for content delivery.

According to the director of Philips Intellectual Property and Standards – Mr. Frederic Guillanneauf Philips is the pioneer of the Blu-Ray technology and is strongly committed towards the wholesome development of the Blu-Ray technology. He feels that the tie-up with Wipro will actually fuel the development of this technology to a further level. Wipro being a major supplier of embedded software in the market, it will also add to the Blu-Ray R&D.