BackupHDDVD Author Interviewed

The ability to backup an HD DVD or a Blu-ray disc has been sought after by many consumers who have recently invested in one of the new blue laser formats. Recently their wishes came true. A member of the Doom9 forums who goes by the name muslix64 released a tool that helps people backup their HD DVD’s. Soon thereafter, ripped HD DVD movies started to appear on torrent tracking websites. A couple weeks go by and we now have been informed of a Blu-ray Disc backup utility, aptly named BackupBluray.

With the release of BackupHDDVD and BackupBluray, muslix64 has become a hero and an anti-DRM icon for the masses. Defenders of fair use and opponents of DRM everywhere are cheering for muslix64 and giving a thumbs up to his efforts. With all of this popularity, muslix64 has become somewhat of a celebrity. Today posted an excellent interview with muslix64 where he answers some very interesting questions about his AACS circumvention techniques. Here is an excerpt from the Slyck interview:

[muslix64image]Q: There appears to be some confusion to the extent and specifics of your success. Explain what content protection has been compromised, and what content protection is still intact?
A: There is no easy answer but, IMHO, AACS is totally busted. The only thing I can see for now to prevent the attack I have described is to put different keys on every disc! It will cost a fortune for the manufacturing, so I’m not sure they will go that way… People say I have not broken AACS, but players. But players are part of this system! And a system is only as strong as his weakest link. Even if players become more secure, key extraction will always be possible. I know many people of the industry try to cover up this breach, by saying I have only poked a tiny hole in AACS, but it is more serious than that. Only the future will tell.
The AACS security layer is almost the same for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray, so they are both busted for good. The only extra security layer is for the Blu-ray format, and it’s called BD+. BD+ is not there yet, and I don’t know when it will be. May be my “exploits” will speed up the adoption of BD+, we will see…

Q: You’ve recently helped defeat Blu-Ray’s content protection as well. What were the similarities/differences in defeating this copy protection scheme?
A: Almost the same. I use the same known-plaintext attack for both formats. But media format and encryption are slightly different. Because I already had experience with the HD-DVD, it was really easy for Blu-Ray.

Q: What are your ultimate goals? Do you feel that most – if not all – of the content protect will be ultimately defeated?
A: If you can play it, you can decrypt it! There is nothing you can do about it. The only thing they can try is to slow people down.

muslix64 seems to have enormous confidence in the online communitys’ ability to defeat any new DRM measures thrown their way by the movie studios and blue laser disc formats. He is also very humble, stating that he is not the smartest guy around and that the blue laser disc formats were just careless with their security implementation. The big questions that everyone wants to know now are, how will the studios react to these backup capabilities and what does BD+ have in store for us?

About Wes Novack

Wes is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has extensive experience with online publishing and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, getting outdoors, skateboarding, hiking, pickelball, tennis, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) @WesleyTech.

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