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Thursday, May 17, 2007
AACS Circumvented Again

While the AACS updates its elements in order to protect the latest HD DVD and Blu-Ray titles from copying, a new software is reportedly ready to bypass it again.

The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) had responded to attacks against certain PC-based applications for playing HD DVD and Blu-ray movie discs, by expiring the encryption keys associated with the specific implementations of AACS-enabled software. In order to continue to enjoy content that is protected by the AACS technology (HD DVD and Blu-Ray movies), consumers were forced to refresh the encryption keys associated with their HD DVD and Blu-ray software players. The refresh process was done through online update of both Cyberlink's PowerDVD and Intervideo's WinDVD software players.

Software products that were not updated to their latest versions would not be able to play any new HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles released after May 22nd. These titles feature the latest revisions to AACS technology and specifically, new encryption keys (MKB).

However, Slysoft released a beta version of its AnyDVD HD software that is reportedly capable of bypassing the revised AACS, obviously by including the new encryption keys. According to online posts, this Beta version works with an early-shipped release of The Matrix Trilogy on HD DVD and will likely work for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest when it arrives on Blu-ray.

This should not surprise neither online community nor the AACS LA itself, since the way AACS chose to respond to the latest attacks was not efficient at all. Updating the encryption keys could not deter "hackers" from circumventing the protection, by applying exactly the same methodology they used before.

The sales of both HD DVD and Blu-Ray is still very low in a worldwide basis, compared to DVD. The so-called "format war" could be considered to exist only in the U.S. for now, since the availability of titles/hardware in Europe for example started only a few months ago. AACS will possibly consider more efficient measures against piracy as the new formats become more popular in the following months.

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