AACS 2.0 copy protection on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs has major, easy to exploit, loophole

Yesterday’s leaked AACS 2.0 Volume Keys have revealed there’s a major loophole in the AACS 2.0 copy protection used on Ultra HD Blu-ray (UHD BD) discs. The loophole was already known by insiders. The leaked keys, combined with the loophole, pave the way for (open source) software to playback UHD BD discs, but also for new UHD BD ripping software.

The loophole is possible because there are so-called UHD BD ‘friendly’ drives, which are different from ‘official’ UHD BD drives.

The official UHD BD drives are conform the AACS 2.0 specifications which means that for playback of UHD BD discs, an AACS 2.0 host certificate is required. The UHD BD friendly drives are Blu-ray drives that do not fully adhere to the AACS 2.0 specifications but which, for some reason, are able to read UHD BD discs. Official certified UHD BD software (e.g. PowerDVD) requires the AACS 2.0 host certificate, meaning official software will only playback content from ‘official’ UHD BD drives, and not from the ‘friendly’ ones.

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The loophole is, that with a non-revoked AACS 1.0 host certificate (which are available on the internet), it’s possible to playback AACS 2.0 content from the UHD BD friendly drives, as long as you have the disc specific AACS 2.0 volume keys. And a list of 72 of those volume keys is exactly what was leaked yesterday.

Owners of an UHD BD friendly drive who have found the leaked AACS 2.0 volume keys can now use software that allows supplying a AACS 1.0 host certificate and the leaked volume keys to either rip or playback UHD BD discs, given there is software that supports this.

Currently the best known software able to do that is MakeMKV, which has the possibility to use your own database of keys. It’s also possible that other software, such as the open source media player VLC, will be able to playback UHD BD discs soon as well, but obviously only on UHD BD friendly drives.

If you want to purchase an UHD BD friendly drive, then you should get one of these (some of them hard to find / out of stock already):

According to experts on the forums, these drives will continue to work, as long as the firmware of the drives isn’t updated. This means there is currently no way AACS LA can stop UHD BD friendly drives from playing and ripping movies with unofficial software.

Discuss this in the Volume Keys Leaked topic on our DeUHD Forum.

Please don’t ask for the volume keys or a non-revoked AACS 1.0 host certificate, we don’t allow posts about that.