SECURITY RESEARCHERS have found a vulnerability in the Chrome browser that makes it so easy to pirate online content that it is a wonder anyone would go to the cinema or rent a DVD at all these days.
Companies apparently go out of their way to stop people watching things like the Expendables 3 at home without a soundtrack of beeping phones, chattering buffoons and slowly unwrapped and loudly crunched crisps.
This means that no-one, except people looking to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode, is likely to be impressed by the news from the Cyber Security Research Centre at Ben-Gurion University in Israel.
The researchers have posted a video of the exploit on YouTube, showing how they were able to exploit the Widevine digital rights management streaming technology to decrypt content.
The problem with the DRM technology, apparently, is that it streams stuff in an encrypted way that can be broken as the system stores the content in an unprotected way on the user's PC.
Researchers from the university told Wired about their methods. They have told Google about the problem, and the firm is looking into it. The researchers confirmed that it is bad news for Hollywood and good news for pirates while it remains unfixed.
"The simplicity of stealing protected content with our approach poses a serious risk for Hollywood [studios] which rely on such technologies to protect their assets," said David Livshits from the Cyber Security Research Centre.
Other reports suggest that the vulnerability is felt mostly keenly on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix is apparently turning a blind eye until the fault is fixed. We have asked the company to confirm this, but that seems unlikely.
The researchers aren't saying much until the problem is fixed, but the video proves that the exploit is possible and shows video being captured on the go. µ
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