TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: CD DRM: Unauthorized Deactivation Attacks

Re: CD DRM: Unauthorized Deactivation Attacks

Gordon Burditt (
Mon, 30 Jan 2006 23:55:10 -0000

> Today's section is part of the technical core of the paper.

> Please note that this is a draft and should not be formally quoted or
> cited. The final version of our entire paper will be posted here when
> it is ready.

> Unauthorized Deactivation Attacks

When I read this title, I think of an entirely different form of
attack than what the authors were thinking off. And I think this kind
of attack should be of serious concern also.

An Unauthorized Deactivation Attack (my definition) is an attack by
the rights owner (e.g. Sony) or virus writer or writers unknown but
probably employed by guess who against the licensees (Joe Customer) to
revoke or limit the usability of what they purchased in violation of
the license agreement at the time they purchased it, without any
violation of the license by the licensee.

For example, Sony might (and I wouldn't put it past them) make playing
"Get Right With The Man Version 3" revoke all your licenses to "Get
Right With The Man Version 2" without any warning in the agreement you
got with Version 2 or Version 3.

Or, a virus mysteriously targets licenses of "Get Right With The Man"
versions 1, 2, and 3, destroying them, just before the release of
version 4.

Gordon L. Burditt

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