|So what is all the fuss about – Peter Gutmann, Jon Brodkin, Ken Fisher, George Ou, Ed Bott|
|A while back we reported about Peter Gutmann, who issued his criticisms several months ago with a paper titled:|
|A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection|
|Now some people are beginning to ask about these claims Peter Gutmann put forward for which he has so far not provided any data that would confirm or disconfirm some of his claims — a basic requirement that distinguishes journalism from scientific work.|
For some of you AACS may stand for American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) but in the IT world, this term stands for:- Advanced Access Content System (AACS) - founding members are IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Studio
SOME FACTS ABOUT AACS
AACS is the copy protection scheme for next-generation video disks regardless of who wins the blu-ray vs. HD-DVD wars, and regardless of whose coder-decoder are used. In this context, a coder-decoder is a digital algorithm, typically executed in software, which transforms a media signal into a form optimized for transmission or storage, and then transforms it back again.
Early in 2007, a crack emerged, at least for HD-DVD, a software implementation of the AACS cryptography specification. While it fails to work without secret per-title keys, unfortunately, compromised software players have yielded many such keys. In turn, the latter have been posted on the Internet. Considering the small selection of ND-DVD titles available, this represents a substantial fraction of the HD-DVD movie inventory. Further, many of the HD-DVD security mechanisms, such as Traitor Tracing and revocation, are not useful agsinst this attack, because:
a) keys produced from compromised machines are not traceable and
b) the users of the keys would not need to do anything which could be detected as a revocation trigger.
We reported about the above based on our own tests here:
AACS DRM is an attempt by content providers, such as the movie studios and Microsoft to protect content. However, as the music industry has discovered with DVD it might not work.
However, even if it might fail to do the trick for video and movie entertainment distribution, in the meantime it allows Microsoft to get a better handle on the distribution channel to many PC users out there. Apple has demonstrated that this kind of control can do wonders for revenues and your share price with the iPod and iTunes.
SCIENTIST PROVOKING THE ‘EXPERTS’ ABOUT WINDOWS VISTA CONTENT PROTECTION
Peter Gutmann put forward some provocative claims regarding Windows Vista content protection in a paper he published in December 2006. We provided a synopsis of the claim made in the paper here including a link to the original:
The biggest challenge is that Gutmann did not provide much data regarding his claims since he first released the above paper a while back
As any academic with a tenured full-time job would do, Gutmann made some statements and put forward some propositions but refrained from presenting some testable
- research questions, or
Such kind of inductive reasoning is sometimes done when researchers may be unable to base their reasoning on past research that could suggest further avenues of inquiry. But already pretty early, people started to ask questions about the merit of some of these claims, such as:
We will follow-up on this next week regarding debunking some claims made by Gutmann.
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