Update: Synopsys Expands Security Solutions with Acquisition of Elliptic Technologies (June 29, 2015)
If implemented properly, the hardware-based approach is the toughest to crack.By Al Hawtin, Elliptic Semiconductor and Craig Zajac, Impinj(10/24/07, 02:02:00 PM EDT) -- Embedded.com
It's become the norm for digital rights management (DRM) designs to be cracked shortly after they're introduced. Among the reasons are poor software designs that leave keys exposed, interception of unencrypted content at a vulnerable point in the system, or the use of new and untested ciphers that are compromised.
ABI Research Analyst Steve Wilson believes that this cycle of developing then breaking DRM designs will be overcome through hardware security engines embedded in system-on-chips (SoCs) aimed at consumer electronics. "In today's consumer electronics products, hardware IC features play little role in protecting copyrighted content," observed Wilson. "Popular DRM schemes that depend on secure software implementations such as Windows DRM, Fairplay, and AACS are routinely targeted and hacked. However, processor vendors are enhancing their architectures and embracing security features that will simplify secure software implementations and make it more difficult to copy and share protected content."
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