CNN: DVD encryption hacked

“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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