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What’s Descrambling

DVDs are usually CSS scrambled – imagine you decide to give a number to each letter, starting with 1 for a, etc. A sentence would become a couple of digits – that’s what we call scrambled. Of course CSS is much better than that but it’s still quite easy to crack. Descrambling means reversing the scrambling process, rendering our digits to a sentence again, or making our movie playable again – you can try to copy a movie to your hard disk when you’ve authenticated your DVD drive and play it, you’ll get a garbled picture because it’s still scrambled. Common CSS descramblers either use a pool of known descrambling keys (DeCSS or DODSrip – they contain a large number of keys but not all of them) or try to derive the key by a cryptographic attack (VobDec – that’s why it works on most disc since it’s not dependent on a pool of discs).