Tuesday, 29 August 2006

People exhibit surprise that Windows Media DRM is 'cracked'

Example surprise.

I’m not at all surprised this is possible. In order to decrypt data, you need two things: the encrypted data, and the decryption key. In order for media playback of DRM-protected files to be possible while disconnected from the Internet, both of those things need to be on your PC. If the key is already on the attacker’s PC, it’s only a matter of time before they find out where it is.

There are of course things that can be done – such as encrypting the decryption key with a master encryption key, so that it isn’t on disk in a usable form, then decrypting it only while it’s actually needed for playback – but ultimately, the key will be visible in the system’s memory somewhere for long enough to be copied.

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