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noncopyable cds  500 points for expert

Posted on 2005-03-06
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hi experts,
               my concerning issue is noncopyable cds, how can i create or manage cd that can't be copy afterwards, i've seen one practicle example, i perchase some cds of animated gif from www.animationfactory.com, and these cds are noncopyable even you can't copy data from these cds to hard drive and to another cd as well, i tried nero to copy these cds but failed, is there any way to create cd like this, i checked there isn't any software copied along data for restricting copy, & file system of these cds was CDFS ...
i searched about CDFS, this file system belongs to Linux operating system, but can't figure if this is enough to restrict copying cd to hard disk and copywriting as well ....
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Question by:nauman32
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13 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:SkipFire
ID: 13470549
Many of the CDs you mention aren't actually protected, they just have really small applications in the autorun and the software on the CD prevents it.

If you have the right software any CD can be copied.
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

by:
pjedmond earned 300 total points
ID: 13470656
Many of the newer CDs have a flag set that says that the CD is copyrighted. The newer commercial CD recording software sees this, and will not copy the CD.

If you have an older version of Nero - say v5.0, then it'll probably copy the CD happily as it just does a disc to disc copy. Basically if the data can be read, then it can be copied.

How can you do it? - In the case of Nero, you click the box saying that the contents are copyrighted. However this will not stop someone who really wants to copy the music from copying it.

Latest trick I believe for music CDs is to 'deliberately' put errors in the CD track itself. A normla CD player will play the fault quite happily, and the human ear recognises no difference....but when you try to copy it, the CD burning software recognises the error, and aborts....or does something else. You can do this type of think by creating the iso image, and then deliberately manipulating a few bits in the *.iso file, and then making sure that your burning software ignores these errors as well.

The final trick is to have all the data encrypted on the CD, and then use a custom application to authenticate and acces the data. This is the type of thing that Windows Media Rights Management uses. Basically you have to enter a media 'key' an access the licencing server in order to get access to the encrypted file.

HTH:)
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 13470852
CDFS btw is not a linux fs, it's universal for cd's now (replaces mscdex) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDFS
If you don't use windows, you can copy the CD's. MAC's or Linux copy all cd's that I've ever tried easily. The current state of CD-Protection and CRM software relies on the M$ windows operating system, and the use of DLL's for cd-roms. If your cd rom has a DLL or driver that is not known by the copy protection software, then you can use M$ to copy the cd's with programs such as nero. Nero is able to skip error'd cd's for the most part.
Are they sending you a cd-rom or a DVD? There are many differences in the portections, but all are easily thwarted with another OS other than M$.

This is the bottom line in Cd-Protection as it stands right now:
---- The CD is readable, and is therfore copyable. period.----

You can encrypt the data on a cd, but again, it will need to be unencrypted to be read and used, so there are oppurtunities for the plain-text data to be read/copied. Same thing with PDF's- they have some great protection, you keep people from printing them, from modifing them etc... but you cannot stop them from taking a screen shot of the pages, and then printing them, or taking a screen shot of the pages, and then using OCR software from re-creating the document or modifing it... if it's readable- it's copyable point blank period.

Unless you have control over the whole PC, like the future DRM solutions aim to do, there are 50ways to get the data, no matter.
plus motivated hackers, or even someone using google, can by-pass these protections with ease
Here are some interesting hacks:
http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/2981.cfm
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/08/01/antirip_cd_system_bypassed/
http://www.dvd-replica.com/DVD/dvdprimer-6.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Rights_Management
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft
http://www.woodmann.com/crackz/
-rich
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Author Comment

by:nauman32
ID: 13474318
well, experts you guys are quiet right but there is another solution in market which is (noncopyable doungles/flash memory), can we use the same idea on cds, you told if the data is readable then its copy/writeable then such companies claims very high, and successfully working on this noncopyable flash memory device,
on the other hand my question was to protect data on cds, i havn't get any sufficient opinion abt securing data on cds, but on cracking security lots of....
anyway experts i would like to carry on this thread ...... i hope there would be any solution ..........
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:kasper2003
ID: 13474735
try CloneCD
0
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:kneH
ID: 13476023
If that was REALLY possible.... why would there be illegal software, illigal DVD's etc.

It's never possible to protect it fully.

@kasper.... how on earth would clonecd add protection?

You could go for the same protection they use for cd's dvd's.
But then again to get that info you'd prolly have to pay a lot!
0
 
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 300 total points
ID: 13476734
one of the best way's I think is very similar to what PDF protection does. It provides you with the application to view/access the data, this gives you much more control over what can be done with the data. One of the best pdf protections that I've not seen broken/hacked is FileOpen:  http://www.fileopen.com/
There is always a work-around as I described, taking a screen shot... it's the same sort of work-around that napster users are doing, napsters mp3's will only play properly in the napster player, but people are using sound capture programs to get the analog signals that are being sent to the speakers...

macrovision is one of the industry leaders in protection (dvd, vhs, cd and more) http://www.macrovision.com/products/index.shtml
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/26/macrovision_cds300_7/
Coompanies like this http://www.securom.com/solution_how.asp
want you to send them the content, and they will master the CD for you with their protection.
http://www.hudson.co.jp/ct/eng/root/root.html

Dongles, serail port adapters, and other such adapters are by-passsed easily, as you can load drivers or emulators on a pc and give the proper responses back to the program because your allowed to "hook" the api's and memory call's on your pc. This is the hadest part of DRM- what is planed in the future is the OS's and the Hardware will not allow you so much control over your PC, and they think that if they can secure the communications between the componets, and make them as tamper proof as possible, then they'll be able to do DRM far more effectively in the future. Symantics aside, this is the same thing as providing a viewer like PDF that will give them more control over the programs and data. And the side step for DRM of the future will be simialr to the screen shot "hack" or the sound capture "hack"
http://www.epic.org/privacy/consumer/microsoft/palladium.html
http://www.epic.org/privacy/drm/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4194047.stm
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/22/1425242&tid=188&tid=186&tid=93&tid=1
http://www.cdmediaworld.com/hardware/cdrom/cd_utils.shtml
-rich
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 13477856
Bottom line as already mentioned is that if the CD has data on it then it can be copied. However, I think that this thread is beginning to show that there are some controls that have an impact on the useful copyability of certain types of software (music/pdf etc).

Perhaps the initiator of this thread could tell us what type of data they are trying to protect, so that we can focus a little more on the specifics of your problem.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:kasper2003
kasper2003 earned 400 total points
ID: 13480270
clonecd can be used to copy protected cds. and it cost about $39.

check this out.
http://www.cdmediaworld.com/hardware/cdrom/cd_protections.shtml

cd copy protection are charged per copy bases, $0.10 each, in general. only if you make lots of copys.
if you are only going to make a couple copys, the price of each copy will go up to as much as $10 a copy, maybe more.

there for you have to shop around.
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 13481689
kasper2003 has produced a very nice list of software copy protection 'solutions' out there. I've had a look at them, and there is another process that has not yet been mentioned, and that involves having 'custom made' CDs manufactured in order to guarantee that the the CD cannot be copied to a 'normal' CDR. I can envisage certain 'errors' that this could cause that would be impossible on a normal CDR (e.g detection of edge of disc in more than one location by having clear circles on the CD perhaps).

However, if that type of thing existed, I'd just step through and patch the code.

The issue with security - and this is a classic example - is that if you make the security difficult enough to beat, then the majority of people will go elseware (or buy the genuine product). There will always be the odd person (like me:)   ) that likes a challenge;)

Most of the information in the list includes snakeoil sales garbage.

:)
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
ID: 13482295
Another issue relating to the data with many of the aforementioned copy protection routines is that in most cases they'll only work on a Windows system.For most other Operating systems, the data becomes totally unreadable!
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 13482697
Missing content doesn't work as well as hoped, or rather "damaged" or bad cd sectors don't- again the media has to be readable at some point... so the installer package know sthat there are going to be "precieved" or actual errors on the CD, and the installer is going to use it's own driver and instructions to tell the rom to keep reading, or jump this many sectors...
If you have a program that can do the same thing, like press on reading even when there appear to be very big error's or the track doesn't seem to be contiguious- then the media is copyable. I've never had any problem making my own personal back-up cd/dvd's that are useable when using Linux and even some M$ programs to make the valid copies.
-rich
0
 

Author Comment

by:nauman32
ID: 13484798
Thanks lot for sharing knowledge & ideas (richrumble/pgedmond/kasper2003) & all others ....................

acctually i just wanted to know if there is anyway to secure data on cd, may it have data in form of (docs,movie,song,software) ect.
it seems that there isn't any single solution which can be used to secure all type of data, should be specific
and i think non of them solution is unbreakable/hackable ..........
anyway that was informative .......
i really didn't get my full proof answer .......
so im splitting points  between you guys
thanks again

Nauman
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