HDCP Master Key Leaked
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is a form of copyright protection developed by Intel. It is designed to prevent the copying of digital audio and video as it travels accross media interfaces such as HDMI, DisplayPort or Unified Display Interface (UDI).
The system is meant to stop HDCP-encrypted content from being played on devices that do not support HDCP or which have been modified to copy HDCP content. Before sending data, a transmitting device checks that the receiver is authorized to receive it. If so, the transmitter encrypts the data to prevent eavesdropping as it flows to the receiver.
Manufacturers who want to make a device that supports HDCP must obtain a license from Intel subsidiary Digital Content Protection, pay an annual fee, and submit to various conditions.
On 14th September 2010 the HDCP Master Key was somehow leaked, and published online in various sources. At present it is unknown how this Master Key was obtained, or whether Intel is doing any investigations as to how this happened. Intel has however threatened to sue anyone.
The leaked master key is used to create all the lower level keys that are stored within devices, so you can see what a nightmare this must be for Intel.
Intel have threatened to sue anyone that makes use of this key under intellectual property laws. However it will now only be a matter of time before we start seeing black market devices appearing.
If anyone’s at all interested though, you can find the key here.