Blu-ray Wes Novack on 12 Feb 2007

HD DVD processing key discovered

BackupHDDVD & new decryption methods

BackupHDDVDDoom9 forum members continue to chip away at HD DVD and Blu-ray encrypted discs by discussing various encryption key discovery methods and the functions of AACS. BackupHDDVD has been around for over a month now, but a major limitation of the utility is that it requires the end-user to enter a Volume Unique Key in order to backup and decrypt an HD DVD.

Lists of HD DVD Volume Unique Keys are being cataloged all over the net now, but anyone who has a newer HD DVD movie or one that has not had its’ Volume Unique Key published online might run into difficulty trying to back up their HD DVD. The initial process used to find a Volume Unique Key is still a complicated endeavor.

The currently known method is to play an HD DVD movie using a computer software player such as PowerDVD or WinDVD. While the HD DVD movie is playing, a memory dump is performed, capturing all of the software players’ memory data into a file. Once the file is captured, it can be analyzed by using a Hex editor such as WinHex in order to try and pinpoint the Volume Unique Key. As you can see from the explanation, extracting a new HD DVD Volume Unique Key is not exactly a simple and straight-forward process. This might limit the amount of HD DVD backup activity that occurs for now.

What about the processing key?

Recent discussions, tests and user reports over on Doom9 indicate that the HD DVD processing key has been discovered. So why is this significant? This is interesting because now it should be possible to decrypt virtually ALL HD DVD discs (and maybe Blu-ray discs too!) by using this processing key + the volume ID of each HD DVD disc.

According to the discussions, the volume ID should be easily found or possibly even “guessed”. Could this be how the new AnyDVD HD application works? Only Slysoft knows the answer to that. At any rate, I expect to see a newer BackupHDDVD type utility released in the near future that does not require a Volume Unique Key database file or the manual input of an HD DVD Volume Unique Key. The next generation DRM wars continue…

One Response to “HD DVD processing key discovered”

  1. on 10 Jun 2007 at 7:39 PM 1.AACS processing key hacked again! » Blu-ray, HD DVD, info at said …

    […] AACS processing key hacking After the initial AACS processing key was found and publicized, consumers who owned HD DVD’s or Blu-ray Discs found that they could easily back up their high definition movies with the help of various freeware utilities. A round of legal threats was then sent out to various websites who had published the processing key and a rebellion was stirred up on online communities around the web. AACS LA, the authority behind the Advanced Access Control System (AACS) protection, attempted to remove the key from the public view. Their efforts to suppress the processing key were futile, as the cat was already out of the bag. Some people even purchased AACS processing key t-shirts, which helped to propagate the knowledge of the key even further as well as provide a fashionable piece of clothing for some technology enthusiasts. AACS revokes keys and new processing key is hacked again! AACS LA has since “revoked” the initial, compromised processing key. This means that none of the AACS protected movie titles released after the initial revocation can be decrypted using the old processing key. Shortly after this revocation occurred and new AACS movie titles had hit the market, the makers of AnyDVD HD announced that they had successfully “hacked” the new form of AACS, meaning that they had discovered a new processing key. AnyDVD HD is a closed-source commercial product, so they did not release the new key for public consumption. On May 23rd, someone going by the name “BtCB” posted a new AACS processing key on The new key was noticed, republished on and confirmed by multiple users that it was able to decrypt new AACS protected titles. Here is a snapshot of the Digg submission. More AACS processing key hacking, what happens next? According to the discussion at Doom9, AACS has not yet played all of their cards. The current processing key can always be revoked and then reissued again, numerous times. The major problem the AACS LA has is that they must give software and hardware manufacturers 90 days notice before revoking old keys and implementing new keys. This gives AACS “hackers” a nice window to crack new processing keys or find new ways to circumvent the AACS protection. The cat and mouse game will continue on the HD DVD side of things, since the only form of protection for HD DVD discs is AACS. At the other end of the high def formats, Blu-ray Discs have multiple forms of protection available to utilize, including AACS, ROM-Mark and BD+. Blu-ray movies protected with BD+ are expected to be released this year. It will be interesting to see whether or not the online communities will be able to circumvent or work around BD+ protections. […]

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