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CNN: DVD encryption hacked

Nov 06, 1999, 00:18 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mathew Schwartz)

"After the motion picture industry spent years negotiating the encryption standard for digital video discs (DVD), a small group of Norwegian hackers recently released a program, called DeCSS, that can break the encryption on almost any DVD disk...."

"Every DVD disk has about 400 keys on it to make the disk readable to all of the various DVD players on the market. The players, in turn, also have the 400 keys licensed and encrypted in their hardware or software playback systems. But apparently one program, the XingDVD Player, from RealNetworks Inc. subsidiary Xing Technologies, didn't have its keys adequatey safeguarded. The hackers were thus able to deduce how to crack DVDs and released the DeCSS program, which will do it automatically."

"According to CNN, the group was attempting to reverse-engineer a software DVD player in order to create one compatible with the Linux operating system. There is currently no Linux-compatible player."

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