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Intel Threatens to Sue HDCP Crack Users

Last week Intel confirmed that the master key for HDCP has been cracked and revealed to the public.

"What we have confirmed through testing is that you can derive keys for devices from this published material that do work with the keys produced by our security technology," Intel spokesman Tom Waldrop said.

"For someone to use this information to unlock anything, they would have to implement it in silicon -- make a computer chip," he added. "As a practical matter, that's a difficult and costly thing to do."

While Waldrop gave the impression that Intel wasn't scrambling to somehow rectify the situation, the spokesman was quoted in a Wired story that Intel would take legal action against anyone who used the HDCP code for a crack.

"There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers," said Waldrop. "Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies."

How did this code get published on the internet? Intel doesn't believe that it was leaked in any way, since it's developed and structured in a way that nobody sees it.

"Someone has used mathematics and computers to be able to work back to what the master key is," Waldrop said.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • BluntObjection
    Seems more like Intel is bluffing, I doubt Intel would be able to detect if you have said device installed in the first place.
    Reply
  • warezme
    hardware not necessary, software can emulate the hardware and use Intel's own chips to crack, then it's just a moving target, good luck with that Intel.
    Reply
  • tommysch
    The way intel is going is pretty sad... I guess we still have AMD.
    Reply
  • hokkdawg
    And they should sue people who use this. Seriously, does anyone really need to crack HDCP? Everything is already compliant, and everyone already knows how to pirate blu-rays by stripping DRM anyways. Anyone dumb enough to spend money trying to copy Intel's HDCP chips should be slapped.
    Reply
  • haunted one
    "Someone has used mathematics and computers to be able to work back to what the master key is," Waldrop said.


    They should immediately hire the guy that did it.
    Reply
  • icepick314
    does this mean AnyDVD HD won't need anymore "updates"?
    Reply
  • best of luck INTEL
    when you start chasing simple users it will be the end of you...
    hope that amd wont become so greedy company with time like intel did/
    Reply
  • TheMadScientist
    I do not agree with Intel. A college level EE with an off-the-shelf FPGA could probably make a working decoder. Given how computers are increasing in speed, you could probably make a working device in software only, especially if you are only interested in a rip, not a real-time player.
    Reply
  • saturnus
    The headline is incorrect. Intel is basically saying that they will sue anyone making a chip with the code imbedded, as there is no other way to use it. And rightly so I might add.

    Nowhere is it even hinted that they would target end-users.
    Reply
  • seezur
    bluntobjectionSeems more like Intel is bluffing, I doubt Intel would be able to detect if you have said device installed in the first place.
    You are right, It would be extreamly difficult for them to detect a user of the chip but I think the threat is targeted at the builders of the chips that include a master key. If they went after all the users they would have to hire the RIAA's leagal team to keep up with all lawsuits.
    Reply