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Default GameIndustry - Encryption Chip Will End Piracy?

May 30th, 2008, 10:11
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I see what you're saying Kalniel.

But when I surf the internet, at least I'm charge of who I am given my personal information, too (if any). As I understand not so with Securom or this TPM chip.

Then there's also the whole hidden threat, to me, at least, that the content providers i.e. EA etc. can shut down the computer if the TPM chip discovers & finds things that they don't like. Many people have Nero, Alcohol or Daemon tools on their computer. This chip might mean that if it is has disvovered these programs on your computer - it could block access to your own computer.

It seems to be about distrust for the legitimate buyer, not trusting the legit buyer.

Of course, it does not have to be that way, but it could be a possibility…
I'll be the first to admit I know next to nothing about this chip, but I don't see why it would bother acting in the way you suggest. AFAIK it's basically the same thing as consoles have - ie it just checks whether a disc/media is legitimate and if it's not it won't run. Where do you get information about it looking for programs on your computer, or blocking access to your own computer? That doesn't seem in any way relevant to the purpose of the chip.
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May 30th, 2008, 10:29
I am no expert at all, but as far as I can see, this only makes sense in connection with online activation / verification schemes? Otherwise I don't see how cracking a game checking a local encryption chip is any harder to crack than it looking for a password/ disk/ whatever - crackers still can simply hack around and remove the part of the software that does the security check.
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May 30th, 2008, 10:30
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
Then there's also the whole hidden threat, to me, at least, that the content providers i.e. EA etc. can shut down the computer if the TPM chip discovers & finds things that they don't like. Many people have Nero, Alcohol or Daemon tools on their computer. This chip might mean that if it is has disvovered these programs on your computer - it could block access to your own computer.
Content providers shutting down stuffs other than their own copyrighted software would probably face legal troubles it it can be shown that they did so on purpose. Not that it's totally impossible, but if that happens it'd be more likely to be a result of sloppy, thoughtless, and incompetent coding rather than malice.

I'd just want a copy protection scheme that allows me to reinstall the software and that doesnt rely on an internet connection to a site or company that might go belly up. The article doesnt seem to go into much detail about how well this encryption chip would handle these challenges, but the easiest way to use hardware to prevent piracy is probably to lock an installation to the specific chip, and that violates my first commandment.
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May 30th, 2008, 12:39
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I am no expert at all, but as far as I can see, this only makes sense in connection with online activation / verification schemes? Otherwise I don't see how cracking a game checking a local encryption chip is any harder to crack than it looking for a password/ disk/ whatever - crackers still can simply hack around and remove the part of the software that does the security check.
Here is the whole thing more detailed:

*NOBODY* has cracked the Xbox nor the Xbox 360's encryption scheme yet. The flaw in the xbox's implementation is that each game, when released, will operate on "any" xbox that it is played on. Thus, if you can dump the xbox game itself, you can simply have it run on any xbox that it pleases. The xbox 360 will not run unsigned code, which prevents homebrew from loading.

The TPM would go one step further than this. What would happen is this:

BIOS on motherboard is signed. TPM allows it to load. BIOS, which is trusted, then allows OS to load. OS loads, which now trusts drivers. OS also trusts the software. The software would be locked and signed to operate only on the TPM chip that it was downloaded for, *your* public key. Which would then only be decrypted and executed by the private key located within your TPM.

If you don't understand basic PKI, you won't understand how this works. Encryption and PKI is a very good way at ensuring communications occurs only between devices that it needs to occur to. After all, we use it to protect virtually everything these days that needs to be protected. SSL works this way, which you use while you handle your online bank account.

Essentially, even if you stripped this "signature" from the code and distributed the game, you would have to have the software be resigned to every machine that it loaded on (remember, your TPM and OS won't allow your computer to run unsigned software).

It's very effective to say the least. Particularly if the system itself offers a 2 way validation. As we stay more and more connected, that will be here in due time.

BIOS is signed, loads OS. OS checks to make sure BIOS was signed and it's loading into a proper environment. Move down the chain and it does the same thing continuously on and on.
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May 30th, 2008, 13:07
That sounds like another thing I definitely dont want. A PC that wont run unsigned software.

The obvious flaw is that PCs do have legitimate homebrew. I take it one somehow still should be able to run freeware and the like. How would the PC be able to tell the difference between a legit (assumedly unsigned) free software and tampered commercial software???

And should I have to add signature code to the programs I write for my own amusement? That would certainly take some of the fun out the work even if streamlined, and likely hurt forward compatibility.

Thanks but no thanks.
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May 30th, 2008, 13:13
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
That sounds like another thing I definitely dont want. A PC that wont run unsigned software.

The obvious flaw is that PCs do have legitimate homebrew. I take it one somehow still should be able to run freeware and the like. How would the PC be able to tell the difference between a legit (assumedly unsigned) free software and tampered commercial software???
Same way as you run freeware programs on ps3 linux?
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May 30th, 2008, 13:20
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Same way as you run freeware programs on ps3 linux?
So how does that work? Is the software re-signed for the individual PS3s?
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May 30th, 2008, 14:11
Originally Posted by Sergius64 View Post
What are gaming companies going to do then? Block all MBs without the chip? Now THAT would reduce the sales of their games.
Surely as time goes on and they can be reasonably certain that their game is high enough spec that it'll only be playable on a computer bought recently enough to have one of those chips it'll be an easier decision?

Most people aren't going to want a computer that will become obsolete once the gaming industry moves over to encryption key only software.
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