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3/24/2008
04:44 PM
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Blu-Ray Copy Protection Breached

A West Indies company says it has defeated the BD+ DVD copy protection scheme, which was thought to be virtually impenetrable.

The second line of defense to prevent Blu-ray discs from being copied has been breached: SlySoft, a software company based in Antigua, West Indies, said last week that its AnyDVD HD 6.4.0.0 disc copying program can now "make backup security copies of Blu-ray discs protected with BD+."

The first line of defense for Blu-ray discs, the Advance Access Content System (AACS) copy protection scheme, was defeated in late 2006. Efforts to keep the 32-bit AACS processing key off the Internet failed spectacularly in 2007 when foes of copy protection schemes posted the sensitive number in a variety of forms on Digg and other Web sites.

The technology behind BD+ was developed by Cryptography Research and sold to Macrovision in November 2007. BD+ is supposed to serve as a secondary layer of protection to prevent Blu-ray disc content from being copied.

In the July 8, 2007 issue of Home Media Magazine, Richard Doherty, a media analyst for the Envisioneering Group, said BD+, unlike AACS, wouldn't likely be breached for 10 years.

SlySoft, in a March 19 press release, repeated Doherty's prediction and noted that it had succeeded in circumventing BD+ only eight months after his statement.

"We are rather proud to have brought back to earth the highly-praised and previously 'unbreakable' BD+," said Peer van Heuen, head of high-definition technologies at SlySoft, last week. "However, we must also admit that the Blu-ray titles released up to now have not fully exploited the possibilities of BD+. Future releases will undoubtedly have a modified and more polished BD+ protection, but we are well prepared for this and await the coming developments rather relaxed."

BD+ is designed to be responsive to attempts to circumvent it, so it is likely that Macrovision will be able to take steps to re-lock compromised Blu-ray titles. Indeed, Macrovision suggests such action is forthcoming.

"Macrovision does not comment on specific techniques or procedures that may directly impact the BD+ security technology," said Eric Rodli, executive VP and general manager of entertainment at Macrovision, in an e-mailed statement. "BD+ is a security response system designed to react to security attacks, not prevent them entirely. As part of this system, updated BD+ security code is continuously developed so that BD+ customers obtain ongoing value from the use of this technology."

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