>> There is nohing in DRM that is hidden or secret.
>. . . except the validation key.
And what? Is an AES key part of AES? Does the existence of AES keys makes AES a closed product?
> Encryption and algorithms are not DRM. They're ciphers.
What did you fail to understand in the sentence :
> think the RSA encryption algorithm, or DES, or AES, which are all used in a large variety of DRMized systems
Or should I take time to explain what I mean by 'used in' ?
> Claiming that cryptographic ciphers are DRM technology is akin to claiming that carbon is writing implement technology. It's not; it's just a raw material used in the manufacture of wooden-barrel HB pencils.
Well, did I write anything that goes in this direction? Where did I write that there is a strict equivalence between DRM and cryptographic ciphers? I believe my point was to say that cryptographic ciphers are used in DRM (something you'll have some difficulty to disprove), and since some major, well known cryptographic ciphers are freely (as in speech) available, you can't says that DRM systems are closed by essence. On a rough level, a DRM system is a cipher + a key management subsystem.
> What do they expect to hide that cannot be discovered by reverse-engineering techniques? Spend a couple hundred dollars, and boom, you have access to the device itself. Worse, analysis in a hex editor can teach you all the secrets of the driver interface anyway, given enough time and dedication. None of the secrets of the hardware are revealed solely by source code. Your entire premise is without merit in this case.
Raw access to the hardware only will never tell you what command to send at what time. Raw analysis of the running hardware will never tell you why this command is sent at this time. Given the complexity of the hardware, you won't get enough information this way. Access to the source code has nothing to do with revealing all the hardware secrets, but with revealing some of them.
If you were trying to understand a comm port PCI hardware, you'll probably be able to replicate its behavior and make a compatible one. But we were speaking of incredibly complex hardware cards. What is possible for small system cannot be used for larger ones. I know this, and you know this as well.
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