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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.

Thomas Claburn

March 24, 2008

2 Min Read

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."

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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