Mysterious user claims Cinavia will soon be easily beaten

Posted 14 November 2013 14:15 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

A mysterious user has posted a message on both VideoHelp and Club Myce stating  the Blu-ray copy protection Cinavia will soon be easily beaten without the loss of audio quality. The user goes by the name ‘Cienoway’ and states, “A very smart software engineer and audio expert was recently fired from Verance, creator of Cinavia. We are going to see a lot of fun shortly. Stay tuned. Stay very tuned here. No, no technology secret or trade secret will be leaked. That will be illegal. I do not expect that to happen.”

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If the software engineer was indeed fired from Verance and wants to take its revenge on its former employer than that could certainly be the end of Cinavia. Certainly if it doesn’t involve breaking any contracts.

In his post Cienoway goes on with,  “But Cinavia is inherently vulnerable to removal, if you know a bit of audio technology. It’s just no one has figure it out yet. It just happens that open and public information provide enough clues how to remove Civania effectively. You do not need to know any of Verance’s inside secret to do that. You just need to be smart enough to figure it out. Dr. Felten almost did it. He did not only for lack of trial, not lack of intelligence”.

The statement about Dr. Felten refers probably to Dr. Edward Felten from the Princeton University. He was threatened with legal action after he allegedly broke a digital audio watermarking technology during a challenge organized by the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). He was able to remove the watermark without degrading the audio quality significantly.

When he wanted to release a paper with his method, Felten was threatened with legal action from the SDMI, the RIAA and Verance. In the end Felten was able to publish his paper (probably this one) at a security conference in 2001. He was assured by the US department of Justice that his work would be protected by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and that legal threats against him would be invalid.

Cienoway made his first post about two weeks ago. Two days ago Cienoway  posted another message, “The new Cinavia removal technology is now confirmed to be working. It is actually extremely simply, and can be described in no more than ten English sentences. A command line tool has been sent to engineers at Verance to confirm that it works. Stay tuned.”

A statement that’s strange, as it’s unlikely the Verance engineers would help out with a tool that would beat Cinavia. One thing is sure, the statements are bold but it would be a great moment if the tool was released and found to be working for those many people who want to playback backups of their Blu-ray discs and are currently unable to do so.

Cinavia is a copy protection for Blu-ray that is mandatory on Blu-ray players since 2012. The protection is based on a watermark that is embedded in the audio stream of a Blu-ray movie. Blu-ray players, both hardware and software contain a Cinavia detector that checks for a valid watermark. If the watermarks is not found because e.g. someone tries to playback a backup of a movie, the audio is muted after 20 minutes and a Cinavia message will appear. Recent versions of the protection might also prompt the user to purchase a legitimate version online.

Discuss this in our Movie Copy Forum.


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