MPAA Seeding BitTorrent with Fake Files

I guess we’ve always known it, right, at least I remember reading about it before, somewhere, but the website Torrent Freak has a post where they can pretty much pin it down to coming from Media Defender, a company that has been hired by copyright holders to log ip addresses of users downloading files.

The MPAA and other anti-piracy watchdogs try to trap people into downloading fake torrents, so they can collect IP addresses, and send copyright infringement letters to ISPs. They hire a company to put up fake copies of popular movies, music albums, and TV series. They even use pirate like filenames such as ?Battlestar Galactica S03E07 REPACK DSR XviD-ORENJi? and ?Miami Vice[2006]DvDrip[Eng]-aXXo?.

One of the btjunkie admins has found a unique way to identify trackers that host these fake files, which makes it easy to efficiently remove them. Source: MPAA Caught Uploading Fake Torrents

They debate the merits of lawsuits brought by the MPAA for users downloading fake torrent files of copyrighted material, which seems like entrapment to me, but I am for sure no lawyer, I guess we will find out someday.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 12, 2007 at 4:26 am

Categories: Piracy   Tags:

BackupHDDVD 1.0 Released

Muslix has released his tool to allow you to copy HDDVD movies, it is called BackupHDDVD, he didn’t actually crack the DRM, like I said here, but, because the players are insecure, he can extract the keys to allow him to copy the movies using his program.

The attack I describe in “Affirmation 4″, is not here yet, but its coming. So I give MPAA and AACSLA a head start. Start to think what you can do about that.

To totally block this attack, they need to put different keys on every disk! Now, they only have different keys for different movies. I don’t know about the manufacturing process of the disk. This solution may not be possible.

The best they can do, is doing shorter manufacturing run of a particular movie, so it would be difficult to get your hand on every “pressing” of a movie.

When they design AACS, they assume people will look for the device keys. I don’t care about device keys. I do care about volume key. Having the device keys mean that you have to re-implements all the complex crypto and do the full AACS process.
I leave all this dirty job to the player and recover only the volume key.

There is 3 important things in cryptography:

1-Private key protection
2-Private key protection
3-Private key protection

Did I break AACS? I don’t know. What do you think? Source: BackupHDDVD, a tool to decrypt AACS protected movies

He posted download links here, with the hash to verify.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 4, 2007 at 6:27 am

Categories: Piracy, Software   Tags: , ,

Is Windows Vista Anti-Piracy Already Beaten?

Could Microsoft anti-piracy in Vista already be hacked? Hackers are distributing a file that will let users get around the built anti-piracy in Windows Vista Enterprise editions, it allows them to spoof the Key Management Service, or KMS, of Windows Vista which allows big businesses to run a authorization server on their own network, allowing them to authenticate Vista installs without contacting Microsoft.

Windows Vista must be “activated,” or authorized by Microsoft, before it will work on a particular machine. To simplify the task of activating many copies of Vista, Microsoft offers corporate users special tools, among them Key Management Service (KMS), which allows a company to run a Microsoft-supplied authorization server on its own network and activate Vista without contacting Microsoft for each copy.

The software Microsoft.Windows.Vista.Local.Activation.Server-MelindaGates lets users spoof that KMS process, allowing them to activate copies of the enterprise editions of Vista, its creators say. The hacked download is available online on sites including The Pirate Bay and other file sharing sites.

The MelindaGates hack allows users to download a VMware image of a KMS server which activates Windows Vista Business/Enterprise edition, its creators claim. Source: InfoWorld

This will be blocked pretty quickly, I am sure, especially if you have to connect to a VMWare image of a KMS server, this will probably be blocked before the day is over, unless the hackers are pretty good at hosting it on different servers, or servers that can’t be controlled or taken down by law enforcement. This is only the first salvo, there will be many more, some will work, some won’t, but it will be a continuing battle for Microsoft to stop piracy of their software.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 8, 2006 at 4:20 pm

Categories: Piracy, Windows Vista   Tags: , , ,

Buy Windows Vista Ultimate for $3.50 in Thailand

Before you run out, buy a plane ticket and fly to Bangkok and purchase a hundred copies, these are pirated copies of the recent RTM of Windows Vista, and this article did not confirm whether the software will pass the Windows Genuine Advantage checks, as they did not install the software. I wish they would send it to me, I would like to find out whether it really works or not. If it didn’t, I doubt the stores would exchange it for software that does work, hehe.

We bought our Vista RTM copy in a regular store in an upscale mall in Bangkok. Vista, along with other expensive software, was prominently on display at several stores with prices ranging from $2.50 to $5.00 (US).

Photocopies of the front and back box covers are usually displayed along with a three digit number. Customers simply write down the numbers of the software they want to purchase and take them to the store’s cashier. After paying in the store, it takes about ten minutes for a runner to bring a freshly burned copy of the software.

According to media reports, every few months the Thai police sends people to raid some of the stores, but the officers often end up empty handed. Since the DVDs are burned off-site, there is often no contraband at the store. In addition, stores appear to be well connected and are often told in advance when the police will raid the mall. Source: TGDaily

They figured out later that the DVD they purchased contained a fully functional RTM version and virus-free of Windows Vista that would allow us to install Vista Basic, Vista Premium, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate, although they did not install it. I would’ve tried it out on a piece of crap machine that you don’t need anyway, to at least confirm some of their story. They said on the back of the box it says to set the bios time to the year 2099, and once its installed set the desktop time to the correct date. Surely this simple hack won’t allow it to bypass the WGA checks for software updates, will t? Can anyone confirm or deny this?

It is estimated that 79% of installed software in Thailand is pirated and is a huge problem in Asia.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 6, 2006 at 6:31 pm

Categories: Piracy, WGA, Windows Vista   Tags: , ,

Avoid Windows Vista Cracks

Just read this article called Windows Vista crack is actually a Trojan, which talks about a new crack making the rounds trying to take advantage of users trying to use pirated copies of Windows Vista. The only good advice is to not use any cracks from any sites, and especially none from sites you don’t know. More than likely, most files of these types will contain malware, adware, or worse yet a rootkit that will turn your computer into a slave for another “administrator”.

Malware makers are starting to take advantage of the number of users searching for cracks for the pirated copies of Vista floating around.

A new download has started circulating around the crack boards called “Windows Vista All Versions Activation 21.11.06″. It purports to be an activation crack for any version of Vista.

However, the file is actually a Trojan-carrier which will install Trojan-PSW.Win32.LdPinch.aze onto your PC.

This has been the case for a long time, there is no way I would download a crack from some of these sites that say they are legit. You are far better off in the long run to use an evaluation copy, to test something out, or to just purchase it. That article links to the original interview, which has a lot more information in it than that little quote, so, if I was you, I would read the original interview with Microsoft Australia Technology Specialist for Windows Client, John Pritchard.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 4, 2006 at 7:38 pm

Categories: Piracy, Windows Vista   Tags: , , ,

New Version of Windows Genuine Advantage Coming

And it’s bringing new checking abilities with it. Microsoft is preparing to push out the latest version of it’s controversial WGA, Windows Genuine Advantage, tool to Windows XP users in the coming weeks. Some of the things that have changed, are the installation is more clear on what it actually does, and a change to the wording if your PC is found “not genuine”. The new version will state: “Your system did not pass genuine validation.” Oh, yah, that should explain it all to Grandma and Grandpa, hehe.

“We received a lot of feedback that people wanted more information when the package came down through Automatic Updates and was offered to them,” Lazar said. The first screen of the new version gives an introduction to WGA Notifications in plain English, explains the benefit and the possible consequences if the XP copy is pirated, he said.

“It is necessary because we continue to discover new, compromised product keys,” Lazar said. “We want to update our notifications and validation tool from time to time to also check for those compromised keys.” Source: Security at ZDnet

So, we should be expecting a fresh new round of complaints from users, both who pirate and who buy it, since both had troubles on this last version. They plan on updating the tool every 3 or 4 months.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 29, 2006 at 7:37 pm

Categories: Piracy, WGA   Tags: , , ,

Microsoft and Universal Strike a Deal, Who is Next?

Microsoft and Universal have signed an agreement that says Universal gets over $1 per Zune sold in exchange for licensing its recordings to Microsoft’s new digital music service. This is huge. Apple has no deals with recording companies like this, Apple only pays them for songs sold through iTunes. This will definitely affect any future deals they have with these companies, companies like Universal had no idea that billions would be made from the iPod when they signed their deals with Apple, so they will want a cut of anything going forward, and I can’t imagine Apple not having to pony some more money up, if they loose tracks in iTunes, they may loose customers to Microsoft and their Zune player.

Universal Music, a unit of Vivendi, will receive a royalty on the Zune player in exchange for licensing its recordings for Microsoft?s new digital music service, the companies said.

Universal, which releases recordings from acts like U2 and Jay-Z, said it would pay half of what it receives on the device to its artists. The company is expected to receive more than $1 for each $250 device, according to executives who were briefed on the pact. Source: NY Times

“It’s a major change for the industry,” said David Geffen. “Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material. This way, on top of the material people do pay for, the record companies are getting paid on the devices storing the copied music.”

Sounds like he is saying we are all pirates and they deserve a cut. I say, lots of us pay for the cd’s and expect to be able to do with them what we want, they are our property after all. If the music companies didn’t point as many fingers as they did and sue as many people as they did, maybe everyone would feel a little different about them. I don’t remember recording songs from radio stations being frowned upon, but it is a lot easier nowadays for one song or album to make its way around the world.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 9, 2006 at 7:36 pm

Categories: Apple, Microsoft News, Piracy   Tags: , , , ,

Microsoft Changes Vista Licensing Terms

Microsoft has given in to the complaints about the new Windows Vista licensing and changed its terms to allow users to re-install on other machines.

You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices.

Our intention behind the original terms was genuinely geared toward combating piracy; however, it?s become clear to us that those original terms were perceived as adversely affecting an important group of customers: PC and hardware enthusiasts. You who comprise the enthusiast market are vital to us for several reasons, not least of all because of the support you?ve provided us throughout the development of Windows Vista. We respect the time and expense you go to in customizing, building and rebuilding your hardware and we heard you that the previous terms were seen as an impediment to that — it?s for that reason we?ve made this change. I hope that this change provides the flexibility you need, and gives you more reason to be excited about the upcoming retail release of our new operating system. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog

As we had posted before, the previous terms said you could only transfer it to another machine once, or more specifically, “The short version is that you may “reassign the license to another device one time” or “make a one time transfer of the software, and this agreement, directly to a third party.” Which would severely limit those users who tweak their machines a lot, changing cpu’s, motherboards, etc. Good move Microsoft.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 2, 2006 at 11:30 pm

Categories: Piracy, Windows Vista   Tags:

Peer to Peer Operator Sentenced to Jail

An operator of the Elite Torrents service, Grant T. Stanley, has been sentenced to 5 months prison, 5 months home confinement, 3 years probation and a $3,000 dollar fine in his role as network administrator.

At one time, the Elite Torrents network had more than 133,000 members and allegedly facilitated the illegal distribution of more than 2 million copies of movies, software, music and games. Federal officials said “Star Wars: Episode III ? Revenge of the Sith” was available through Elite Torrents six hours before it even debuted in theaters.

“We hope this case sends the message that cyberspace will not provide a shield of anonymity for those who choose to break our copyright laws,” U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said in a statement. Source: Yahoo

He was one of three people convicted of copyright infringement in Operation D-Elite, which was a federal crackdown on suppliers of pirated works to Elite Torrents, which agents shut down in May 2005. The other two names were not mentioned in the report.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 27, 2006 at 5:03 pm

Categories: Piracy   Tags:

DVD Jon Cracks iPod Playback Restrictions

Jon Lech Johansen, also known as “DVD Jon,” says he has cracked the playback restrictions put in place by Apple on their iPod mp3 players, and says an unnamed client will soon use his technology so that it’s copy-protected content will be playable on iPods. He says his lawyers have given him the green light to go ahead and that while Apple can give them some trouble, they cannot stop this.

A hacker known for cracking the copy-protection technology in DVDs claims to have unlocked the playback restrictions of Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod and iTunes music products and plans to license his code to others.

Today, songs purchased from Apple’s online iTunes Music Store can’t be played on portable devices made by other companies. Songs purchased from many other online music stores also won’t work on iPods because they similarly use a form of copy-protection that Apple doesn’t support.

Johansen said he has developed a way to get around those restrictions. But unlike his previous work, which he usually posts for free, the Norway native plans to capitalize on his efforts through his Redwood Shores-based DoubleTwist Ventures, said the company’s only other employee, managing director Monique Farantzos. Source: CNN

While his lawyers are giving him the green light, he will surely be sued by Apple in an attempt to block it. Fred von Lohmann, a staff attorney at the privacy-advocacy group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Johansen is treading carefully this time, but isn’t necessarily cleared from a legal fight over copy-protection laws. Saying, “There is a lot of untested legal ground surrounding reverse engineering.” Which is an understatement, I’m sure.

Johansen first rose to fame when he wrote DeCSS, to unlock the content scrambling system used by the film industry to prevent copying, he was charged with data break-in but was soon acquitted. He has been a hacker folk hero ever since.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 25, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Categories: Apple, Copy DVDs, Piracy   Tags: , ,

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