Just as the MPAA is preparing to offer movies to customers at home while they’re still in theaters by limiting playback to DRM-protected digital outputs only , the HDCP protocol they rely on may have been cracked wide open.

All devices that support HDCP, like Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and displays with HDMI inputs, have their own set of keys to encrypt and decrypt protected data and if keys for a particular device are compromised, they can be revoked by content released in the future which will then refuse to play.

Now, posts have been floating around on Twitter about a supposed “master key” which renders that protection unusable since it allows anyone to create their own source and sink keys. Who discovered this and by what technique isn’t immediately clear, but as early as 2001 researcher Niels Ferguson proposed that it could be easily revealed by knowing the keys of less than 50 different devices

c1fd971eb1th drm.jpg HDCP master key supposedly released, unlocks HDTV copy protection permanently

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HDCP ‘master key’ supposedly released, unlocks HDTV copy protection permanently