updated 04:25 pm EST, Mon January 29, 2007
Vista DRM Crack
The protective code that controls media in Windows Vista has been cracked just days before its official release, according to programmer and researcher Alex Ionescu. The analyst said that he has successfully defeated the Protected Media Path inherent to Vista, which is meant to refuse the playback of audio or video from certain copy-protected videos if the system is not using approved hardware and drivers.
While exact details of the exploit remained vague for fear of legal reprisals, Ionescu noted that the successful code does not require any special drivers and bypasses Microsoft's anti-modification PatchGuard technology, potentially convincing any playback software that it can play content at full quality regardless of any actual protection. The hack is currently a proof-of-concept alone and is unlikely to be available as-is, but points to the likely defeat of Vista's stringent DRM despite Microsoft's efforts. Blu-Ray and HD DVD security have already seen partial breaches in recent weeks.