Intel: HDCP copyright protection keys are real

Back on the 13th of September, a mysterious post appeared on site pastebin.com; a post that contained number matrices reported to be the HDCP master keys. HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) is the encryption schema used by hardware manufacturers to encrypt data as it moves through an HDMI or DVI cable to your viewing medium. The encryption is meant to prevent signal eavesdropping by third-party devices that could be placed between, for example, your Blu-ray player and your HDTV, capturing the content in an unencrypted state. Yesterday, Intel — the company who created HDCP — confirmed that the published keys are in fact real. “We have tested this published material that was on the Web,” said Intel representative Tom Waldrop. “It does produce product keys… the net of that means that it is a circumvention of the code.” The nightmare scenario for those that rely on HDCP would be the creation of a third-party chip, with the master keys embedded, that could be used to decode Blu-ray DVDs and other protected materials. From there, said materials could be easily republished and shared, although… thanks to torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, they usually are anyway. No word on what, if anything, Intel plans to do.

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