Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Checkmate! RUB researchers outsmart copy protection HDCP

24.11.2011
“Man-in-the-Middle” attack: Intel copy protection circumvented

For over a decade, Intel’s widely used copy protection HDCP has been trusted by the media industry, which carries out business in high-resolution digital video and audio content worth thousands of millions. Researchers from the working group on secure hardware led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tim Güneysu of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum were able to checkmate the protection system of an entire industry with relatively little effort using a so-called “man-in-the-middle” attack. They will be presenting their results next week at the international security conference ReConFig 2011 in Cancun, Mexico.


“Man-in-the-middle” attack: undetected, the FPGA board manipulates the communication between the Blu-ray player and the flat screen as a middleman
Photo: Bastian Richter

Protection for digital entertainment

HDCP is now found in almost every HDMI or DVI-compliant TV or computer flat screen. It serves to pass digital content from a protected source media, such as a Blu-ray, to the screen via a fully encrypted channel. There have been concerns about the security of the HDCP system for some time. In 2010, an HDCP master key, which is intended to form the secret core element of the encryption system, appeared briefly on a website. In response, the manufacturer Intel announced that HDCP still represented an effective protection component for digital entertainment, as the production of an HDCP-compatible chip using this master key would be highly complex and expensive.

Attack on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA)

That caught the attention of Bochum’s researchers. “We developed an independent hardware solution instead, based on a cheap FPGA board” explained Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tim Güneysu, who set to work with the final year student Benno Lomb. “We were able to tap the HDCP encrypted data streams, decipher them and send the digital content to an unprotected screen via a corresponding HDMI 1.3-compatible receiver.” We used the commercial ATLYS board from the company Digilent with a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA, which has the necessary HDMI interfaces and a serial RS232 port for communication.

Material costs of approximately 200 Euros

In their studies, the aim was never to find a way of making illegal copies. “Rather, our intention was to fundamentally investigate the safety of the HDCP system and to financially assess the actual cost for the complete knockout” reported Prof. Güneysu. “The fact that we have achieved our goal in a degree thesis and with material costs of approximately 200 Euro definitely does not speak for the safety of the current HDCP system.”

Manipulation via the middleman

This “man-in-the-middle” attack in which a middleman (the ATLYS FPGA board) manipulates the entire communication between the Blu-ray player and the flat screen TV without being detected is of little interest for pirates in practice due to the availability of simpler alternatives. The scientists do, however, envisage a real threat to security-critical systems, for example at authorities or in the military. Although Intel is already offering a new security system, HDCP 2.0, due to the backward compatibility, the weak point will also remain a problem in coming years, concluded Prof. Güneysu.

Further information

Prof. Dr.-Ing Tim Güneysu, Secure Hardware Group, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the RUB, tel. +49 234 32 24626, gueneysu@crypto.rub.de

Editor: Jens Wylkop

Dr. Josef König | idw
Further information:
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures
14.02.2020 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Computer-based weather forecast: New algorithm outperforms mainframe computer systems
13.02.2020 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

Im Focus: New coronavirus module in SORMAS

HZI-developed app for disease control is expanded to stop the spread of the pathogen

At the end of December 2019, the first cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus were reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then, infections...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electric solid propellant -- can it take the heat?

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Pitt study uncovers new electronic state of matter

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>