Monday, 28 November 2011 12:01

HDCP Copy Protection Broken with Man in the Middle attack

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broken-lockThere is an old saying that says “what man can lock, man can also unlock” this is probably one of the most true statements ever made and covers more than just physical locking. Despite hundreds of thousands of hours spent coming up with new and more complicated encryption schemes they inevitably fall to some enterprising “hacker”.

However, today we find some news that is as interesting as it is late. A group of researchers in Germany have found a way to break the HDCP (High-Bandwidth Copy Protection or High-Definition Copy Protection) encryption. This new is actually both big and of little use to the general public (or pirates) as there have been devices based on the actual HDCP chips that can do this for quite a while.

The big part comes from the fact that the group, led by Professor Tim Guneysu and a PhD student named Benno Lomb found a way to do this with off the shelf parts that only cost around $266 US. The hack was accomplished by putting an Atlys FPGA board (which has a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA containing an HDMI port and an RS232 com port) in-between the Blu-ray player and the HDTV. This allowed the Spartan to act as a Man-in-the-middle and intercept the content stream and also modify its contents (basically read the stream without the encryption getting in the way).

Although nothing big to pirates, it does show that the HDCP encryption scheme is very vulnerable and not as secure as it could be. Of course the more complex the encryption scheme the more processing overhead you place on all of the hardware involved.

Source The H Security

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Read 2329 times Last modified on Monday, 28 November 2011 12:06

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