AfterDawn: Tech news

Encryption chips to end PC game piracy?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 25 May 2008 21:54 User comments (59)

Encryption chips to end PC game piracy? According to Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, PC game piracy will be a thing of the past thanks to new stealth encryption chips embedded in your computers.
"There is a stealth encryption chip called a TPM that is going on the motherboards of most of the computers that are coming out now," he added.

"What that says is that in the games business we will be able to encrypt with an absolutely verifiable private key in the encryption world - which is uncrackable by people on the internet and by giving away passwords - which will allow for a huge market to develop in some of the areas where piracy has been a real problem."


Bushnell did note however that movie and music piracy can not be stopped. "If you can watch it and you can hear it, you can copy it."

"Games are a different thing, because games are so integrated with the code. The TPM will, in fact, absolutely stop piracy of gameplay.

"As soon as the installed base of the TPM hardware chip gets large enough, we will start to see revenues coming from Asia and India at a time when before it didn't make sense."

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59 user comments

125.5.2008 22:12

I cannot understand why anyone ever says something is uncrackable. They always end up looking like fools in the end.

225.5.2008 22:20

it will shure reduce piracy, but end it? ppl will end up modding their mobos, i dun know flashing them? who knows piracy wil never end

325.5.2008 22:20

If it is software, it can be cracked.

425.5.2008 22:30

This might reduce piracy for awhile...But usually within a week of software releases, people create a modified .exe to work around CD checks/DRM and eventually this "TPM Chip" too.

...besides, theres nothing a little soldering can't fix :)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 May 2008 @ 22:40

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525.5.2008 22:32

Originally posted by leviticus:
This might reduce piracy for awhile...But usually within a week of software releases, people create a modified .exe to work around CD checks/DRM and eventually this "TMP" Chip too.

Quote:
...besides, theres nothing a little soldering can't fix
:)



So much for the chip.

"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


625.5.2008 22:42

This is the same thing Windows said for the OEM license scheme for Vista. Instead of 1 mass user key Microsoft/PC Vendors had chips embedded in the board that would give the PC the license information when needed. Well the Paradox group cracked that and created a driver that fooled Vista into letting you install any version of the OS.

Original Vista hacked article

725.5.2008 22:53

With M$'s billions and they can't do it, what hope does Atari have ?


"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


826.5.2008 0:31

They're just trying to scare people straight. This is crap

926.5.2008 0:49

It will get cracked on the first week, no big deal.

1026.5.2008 1:16

This is similar to the "Dongle" from many big (or expensive) software companies.

Warez groups such as PARADOX (as PeaInAPod noted) have found ways to get around the "Dongle" requirement in software and this chip is no different.

I'd give it a few days, maybe two weeks at most.

1126.5.2008 1:26

And what about people with motherboards that don't have the chip? SOL I suppose. Which will lead to reduced sales and more cracking. The greedy always shoot themselves in the foot.

1226.5.2008 1:49

And the home brews will keep cooking...

1326.5.2008 1:55

Originally posted by craftyzan:
And the home brews will keep cooking...

Potent stuff that home brew.

"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


1426.5.2008 3:20
OzMick
Inactive

These chips have already been proven ineffective, it is just another example of security by obscurity which has been proven time and again completely useless, all it does is protect for a few days/weeks tops. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_boot_attack

1526.5.2008 3:20

I always see these boards at work, lots of Intel boards and server boards have this trusted platform module.
its here in the Wikipedia

1626.5.2008 3:57

haha, i remember when we joked about the blockbuster chip..
and so what about this dumb mobo chip? people will just sodder the b*tch off or hell even flash it to hacked..
i like the fact that they attempt to think up new ways to foil us. i mean hell, they've got to get paid for something.

1726.5.2008 5:25
nobrainer
Inactive

who would even purchase a crippled piece of hardware, well other than blu-ray and game console fans! that are both designed to block media.

vote with your feet ppl, don't purchase anti-consumer, restricted crapware.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 May 2008 @ 9:07

1826.5.2008 10:25

And for sure theyre going to force every mobo manufacturer into this right?, itll be as easy as going online into a webpage with a list of mobo manufacturers that dont use the chip, and buy one, then make a soft crack, or as someone else alreadu mentioned, a hacked driver could do the trick

1926.5.2008 10:40

This is news? TPMs have been around for a good while now, embedded in pretty much every major motherboard. This "new stealth encryption technology" is not really new, and the statement,

"There is a stealth encryption chip called a TPM that is going on the motherboards of most of the computers that are coming out now,"

is also false or misleading, as these have been present on MOBOs for about 4 or 5 years now. I remember reading about this B.S. a few years back, and TPMs have done jack diddly squat to prevent piracy of any sort. Still sad if they found real backing and support this time, as well as to actually execute a successful implementation of this anti consumer jackassery.

2026.5.2008 10:42

uummm.......what a way to miss the point...these guys must love spending millions on worthless DRM.....

2126.5.2008 11:33

Theoretically if this works it will make the older motherboard worth more I and other people already own :))!!!

2226.5.2008 11:50

Originally posted by SuckRaven:
TPMs have done jack diddly squat to prevent piracy of any sort.
Thanks, that made my day right there!

2326.5.2008 12:05

Look how long have they been putting this chip in computers and what type of motherboard have the chip.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 May 2008 @ 19:57

2426.5.2008 13:50

Originally posted by mrp73:
I cannot understand why anyone ever says something is uncrackable. They always end up looking like fools in the end.
I think they just say that just to sell their product.

2526.5.2008 15:00

...unless they make ALL the "TPM" (stealth encryption chip)
different...then it is a matter of time before it's cracked
or someone finds a way to "mod" it (hardware or software) and
the information is posted on the net.
Cheers!

2626.5.2008 16:12

wikkipedia states this:

These potential other uses have given rise to privacy concerns. Consequently, to address these concerns, the TPM chip cannot be enabled via software alone - a "physical presence request" operation is required, whereby a human sitting at the computer must acknowledge the request to activate the device via a prompt at BIOS level.[4] Furthermore, each application that uses the TPM must register a unique passphrase when it takes ownership of the TPM in order to prevent other applications from also making unauthorized use of the TPM while it's enabled.[5]

so... are they just changing their MO or what?

2726.5.2008 17:15

so what happens when you buy the game, and eventually buy a new computer? Do yo uhave to re-pay for teh game that you already own? No matter how smart they think they are, there is always someone smarter. It won't last.

2826.5.2008 18:08
fgamer
Inactive

Originally posted by wolf123:
Look how long have they been putting this chip in already because I would like too know how far back they go and what machines have them so if I buy a new computer or build one what would I be looking for not to get.
WTF are you trying to say...OMG!!

2926.5.2008 18:24

Yeah like that will stop people! It'll slow it down for awhile but its like stopping a 200 car freight train going 100mph with a toothpick and a piece of Hubba Bubba!

When Quantum Computers become a reality. then maybe it'll stop piracy because I'm sure an offshoot of that would be quantum cryptography. (which I'm sure would make the RIAA, MPAA, the CIA, NRO and the NSA sweat and have nightmares and not sleep at night!)

3026.5.2008 19:26
itchy299
Inactive

with out repeating what has been said
iv herd this story along time ago
a techer on a corse kept going on on and on about how cd rom drives would eliminate piracy then he said the same about dongles not saying there is absolutly no way to block piracy but its a long way off look at consol gaming you nead in most cases to go at your bored with asoildering iron to use ahm backups that is one major reson people have to 60+ a game the fack of the mater is piracy keaps the general price of software down thats why we should use it in any case where were asked to pay to much for software my rule is i never pay more than 20 usd for software i broke this only twice once with vista keapin a updated vista machine is hard without it and anti virul software for the same reson

3126.5.2008 20:05

Quote:
Originally posted by wolf123:
Look how long have they been putting this chip in already because I would like too know how far back they go and what machines have them so if I buy a new computer or build one what would I be looking for not to get.
WTF are you trying to say...OMG!!


I really messed that up I wanted too know how long the TPM has been implemented into computers.

3226.5.2008 20:10

Yes these are the same TPM chips that make sure that OSX only runs on macs......Oh wait a minute i have leopard running on my P4 tower, they must be good then ;)

3326.5.2008 20:41

Quote:
"What that says is that in the games business we will be able to encrypt with an absolutely verifiable private key in the encryption world - which is uncrackable by people on the internet and by giving away passwords - which will allow for a huge market to develop in some of the areas where piracy has been a real problem."
Them be fighting words. You realize that this is just going to make the pirates even more hungry to break your soo called unbreakable code. i give it a month tops after it has been released.

3426.5.2008 21:41

Say you have a 2 year old or older comp are you safe from this so called chip.

I believe it will take a month to break too.

3526.5.2008 21:52

They really think they are going to see profits? If people can't afford their over-priced games in the first place, then they still won't buy them.

3626.5.2008 22:56

to those worried that they have a motherboard with a tpm chip or want to avoid buying a motherboard with a tpm chip:

The software will state a tpm chip as a requirement to run, just like most games require a directX9 video card or 150Gb hard drive space etc. The idea is that you will NEED a tpm motherboard to play the game

Purchasing a motherboard without a tpm chip does not mean you will be able to play copy protected games that rely on a tpm chip.

Though, as many others have said, it's just going to be hackers finding the bit of code that says "authorise via tpm" and removing that function. Then the game will work anywhere.

i think the most effective from of piracy proof stuff we have seen is 'give the game away for free then charge a subscription service to use it' like WOW. Much easier to enforce that way.

3726.5.2008 23:24

*Yawn*

What's going to make this effective (from an anti-hack prospective) where most everything else has failed?

Dream on. All this will do is improve upon what's already being done.

3827.5.2008 0:20

Cubase SX uses a usb dongle which is now cracked.

3927.5.2008 6:24

you say "Purchasing a motherboard without a tpm chip does not mean you will be able to play copy protected games that rely on a tpm chip."

so in reality emulation of a TPM would work full stop.... however the TPM is programmed there will be ways to stop this menace to PC-Kind...

the idea this chip is "Unhackable" is bullshit..... i even think this could be a way of been hacked but used in the wrong manor... meaning using it for another purpose... such as checking up on our data and feeding it to local authoritys...

TPM's have been out for like 4 - 5 Years but why re release them? its either a mis-leading device planted in your motherboard or just another re-design.... fact is.... hacked in like a month.... they try with the best antivirus systems to remove viruses and such yet pc's are still hackable what makes this chip any different?

4027.5.2008 8:18

If a man can build it, a man can break it.
Simple as that.

4127.5.2008 10:04
lynchGOP
Inactive

Originally posted by nobrainer:
who would even purchase a crippled piece of hardware, well other than blu-ray and game console fans! that are both designed to block media.

vote with your feet ppl, don't purchase anti-consumer, restricted crapware.

Sheesh............what kind of question is this? Who? Who you ask? YOU, ME, THE DOG, ELVES..............ANYONE that has a computer that crashes or wants to stay current technologically. I guess you could always just buy 10 year old mobos down the road and even that won't work in 20.

As for the TPM, many of us could only hope that it's hackable because even though I buy many games, like I just picked up Rainbow Six V2 for 30 bucks at BB, there are still plenty of games that I would rather just grab N' play. Example, C.O.D. 4 was awesome but it was extremely short. Painkiller games are kinda fun but not worth 50 or even 40 bucks..............maybe 10. Easier to just download. I buy my fair share but nothing feels better than a successful jacking of a decent game.

4227.5.2008 11:15

If some one can build it some one else can crack it!! Fools.... maybe they should have saved all of the money they spent develping this idea and considered that extra income. LOL

4327.5.2008 12:42

Originally posted by magnets:
to those worried that they have a motherboard with a tpm chip or want to avoid buying a motherboard with a tpm chip:

The software will state a tpm chip as a requirement to run, just like most games require a directX9 video card or 150Gb hard drive space etc. The idea is that you will NEED a tpm motherboard to play the game

Purchasing a motherboard without a tpm chip does not mean you will be able to play copy protected games that rely on a tpm chip.

Though, as many others have said, it's just going to be hackers finding the bit of code that says "authorise via tpm" and removing that function. Then the game will work anywhere.

i think the most effective from of piracy proof stuff we have seen is 'give the game away for free then charge a subscription service to use it' like WOW. Much easier to enforce that way.


what game you playing that need 150 GB or is that a typo, sorry then .

I would think making you have a TPM device too play a game you purchase would be illegal.

4427.5.2008 12:46

Hahahahaha
Give me a freaking break. But wait, let's say this will work, what about the millions of computers that already exist and the millions of motherboards that already exist?

No wait, ahahahahahhaha, give me a freaking break.

4527.5.2008 16:05

Originally posted by adre02:
But wait, let's say this will work, what about the millions of computers that already exist and the millions of motherboards that already exist?
That's the easy part. They put out a version of Window$ (no point mentioning other OS's for gaming, sadly) that will only work on a mobo with TPM. Force most of the world to switch to that OS like they did with Vi$ta, produce games only for that OS, and there you go.

The hard part will be to make sure all the above works as they imagined. ;)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 May 2008 @ 16:07

4627.5.2008 18:35

if you would read the above comments you would realize this chips have already been implemented, theres almost nothing that the end consumer can do, but in such times of distress the net superheroes will always be with us :p or against them if you preffer.

the 1 thing they dont learn, is that the harder they do it, the more appealing for the hackesrs

4727.5.2008 19:37

This won't last, TPM emulation exists, just the same as CD-DVD-ROM EMU.
if you don't like TPM grab a pair of needle nose pliers and pull it off.
TPM is a non system critical object.

without Windows, Hackers wouldn't have any fun time.

The genius Built it, the pirate used it, in the end only the pirate was alive.

it was a simple concept. see if you can grasp its true meaning.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 May 2008 @ 19:38

4828.5.2008 0:35
skylinegt
Inactive

hmm TPM souns fun....remember windows xp....they came out with windows genuine validation...and thanks to an unnamed person ( for security reasons) windows genuine advantage nightmare was born

then there was vista....man microsoft was smooth....giving out free copies of RC1 and RC2 etc all the while collecting data about how the hackers crack it and they say it wont be pirated now vista is out ...and guess wat man i have so many copies of it u could call me bill gates's son....though i would rather hang myself first than be microsoft's bitch

but say what..need not worry..TPM's are here to stay....for a month at most until they find the piece of code that says "authorize" and disarm it....and then it's all yours...

hackers working on the TPM and other game hackers working on the game...have no fear....copying will continue

4928.5.2008 0:42

Starting to think that they want to end the 2nd hand market by forcing the games to a chip....what wasteful foolishness.

5028.5.2008 8:54

Quote:
Originally posted by adre02:
But wait, let's say this will work, what about the millions of computers that already exist and the millions of motherboards that already exist?
That's the easy part. They put out a version of Window$ (no point mentioning other OS's for gaming, sadly) that will only work on a mobo with TPM. Force most of the world to switch to that OS like they did with Vi$ta, produce games only for that OS, and there you go.

The hard part will be to make sure all the above works as they imagined. ;)

Yeah, I understand that part but there is not going to be a version of windows developed anytime soon just because of gaming piracy. I really can't see that happening, because they tried that with windows xp and vista and it did not work. Now, I take that back, i do see it happening, but I also see it working for a good one month or so and that's it. Plus, TPM already exist.

5128.5.2008 9:21

If someone on the internet can crack and infect the usa military government billion dollar program with a computer virus using a home pc, a pc game is nothing compared to this. Everything is crackable, so why do they bother.



LIVE LONG and PIRATE

5228.5.2008 11:56

As a heavy PC gamer, I would like to say that I would never purchase a motherboard that tells me what I can do with the software that I install on the machine. Currently I have a home built system that will be upgradable for at least another 3 years (based on my budget for upgrading and the rate that upgrades are falling). As long as the older motherboards are still available, I dont see why anyone that knows how to build a system would use a motherboard with this type of technology.

As for the games not running, if the motherboard does not have the chip: do the big businesses really think that people who buy gaming computers are going to be willing to buy into these games if they cannot run them on their current system? I dont know about anyone else but I do not intend to go out and spend another $200 on a barebone to get the right components to play one or two games that I would consider purchasing. Plus the gaming industry will be shooting themselves in the head if they go toward this technology for the same reason. Simply put, people do not have or are not willing to buy a new computer just to play a few games and the few that are willing will not make the move profitable enough for the gaming industry.

Seems like more and more businesses are going toward the same business model: rebuy all of your current stuff so you can have the next greatest thing and we will then make you rebuy everything again in a few years when the next greatest technology comes out.

I for one am not buying into this business model, and I never will.

5328.5.2008 13:54

Quote:
That's the easy part. They put out a version of Window$ (no point mentioning other OS's for gaming, sadly) that will only work on a mobo with TPM. Force most of the world to switch to that OS like they did with Vi$ta, produce games only for that OS, and there you go.
Quote:
Currently I have a home built system that will be upgradable for at least another 3 years (based on my budget for upgrading and the rate that upgrades are falling). As long as the older motherboards are still available, I dont see why anyone that knows how to build a system would use a motherboard with this type of technology.
Quote:
then make you rebuy everything again in a few years when the next greatest technology comes out.

I for one am not buying into this business model, and I never will.
Here! Here! I built my own computer last year too. And "rebuilt" my old Dell too. I run Ubuntu now. No DRM worries about anything. But I'll admit to not being a big player of high tech games.

5428.5.2008 15:47

Come on guys, purchase your "GAMES" legally! In other industries such as music, movies, books, and most software they have other outlets of income and they will survive the piracy age. Not so much in games. Not to say the industry isn't greedy (I really would like to see stand-up arcades make a come-back) but the man has got to get paid.

5528.5.2008 22:19

Originally posted by edsrouter:
Come on guys, purchase your "GAMES" legally! In other industries such as music, movies, books, and most software they have other outlets of income and they will survive the piracy age. Not so much in games. Not to say the industry isn't greedy (I really would like to see stand-up arcades make a come-back) but the man has got to get paid.
oh,i do buy games. i will not shell out 50-30 dollars for repetitive games. that is the sole purpose i download game's if i don't like its gone quicker than it took to download it.

example, I downloaded crysis simply because the game looked really good. do you know how pissed i would have been if i had bought the game. Crysis was the worst FPS i had ever played before in my life. it was worse than BIOSHOCK.

if your guna say, well thats what game mags are for. I'll have you know that i don't believe those. as everybody has different tastes in games, thats why they have different editors for a different game review in all the Magazines. it makes sense you wouldn't give a FPS lover a RPG game to review. and as hybrid as games are know a days its easy to classify a game an all sections of gaming genre.

its not about the TPM chip its the ethics behind it. there not hurting Pirates-there hurting every day consumers, pirates have resources that could crack the TPM code before its even released. does the average consumer have that much time on there hands. I don't think so, this even could effect motherboard pricing, even the Computer genre itself.

and i'll leave it at that.

5630.5.2008 15:54

Originally posted by edsrouter:
Come on guys, purchase your "GAMES" legally! In other industries such as music, movies, books, and most software they have other outlets of income and they will survive the piracy age. Not so much in games. Not to say the industry isn't greedy (I really would like to see stand-up arcades make a come-back) but the man has got to get paid.
I do buy games. All I am trying to say is if I purchase a game and it will not play with my system even if it does meet the minimum system requirements, then I will be returning it and looking for a pirated version. If the minimum system requirements include this new TPM chip then I wont even consider opening my wallet to support the game manufacturer.
If the gaming industry wants to make having this chip as part of future system requirements, then they will be eliminating a large customer base and just asking for tech savy people to pirate their game.

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin
Time is never wasted when you are wasted all the time. - Catherine Zandonella
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol. - W.C. Fields

5730.5.2008 16:05

Originally posted by DXR88:
Originally posted by edsrouter:
Come on guys, purchase your "GAMES" legally! In other industries such as music, movies, books, and most software they have other outlets of income and they will survive the piracy age. Not so much in games. Not to say the industry isn't greedy (I really would like to see stand-up arcades make a come-back) but the man has got to get paid.
oh,i do buy games. i will not shell out 50-30 dollars for repetitive games. that is the sole purpose i download game's if i don't like its gone quicker than it took to download it.

example, I downloaded crysis simply because the game looked really good. do you know how pissed i would have been if i had bought the game. Crysis was the worst FPS i had ever played before in my life. it was worse than BIOSHOCK.

if your guna say, well thats what game mags are for. I'll have you know that i don't believe those. as everybody has different tastes in games, thats why they have different editors for a different game review in all the Magazines. it makes sense you wouldn't give a FPS lover a RPG game to review. and as hybrid as games are know a days its easy to classify a game an all sections of gaming genre.

its not about the TPM chip its the ethics behind it. there not hurting Pirates-there hurting every day consumers, pirates have resources that could crack the TPM code before its even released. does the average consumer have that much time on there hands. I don't think so, this even could effect motherboard pricing, even the Computer genre itself.

and i'll leave it at that.
Ouch I think BS was worse, Cryisis is a kinda bland sandbox shooter, if it was paced better it would ave been a great game but BS was jsut rushed out of the door IMO.

I no longer am a member of the sheeple gaming herd, if the industry ants me to pay attention to them they need to get off their buts and put more detail and polish into games, for instance Fallout 3 is no longer fallout its a FP adventure game set to advanced TES gameplay but its trying to be a action RPG that has sparked my interest as long as it dose not have secruoms online sht on it I think I will pre order it.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

583.6.2008 15:31

Did you hear that guys? It's going to be "uncrackable"!

Ultra-lol to that.

594.6.2008 18:26

Uncrackable, oh no, well I guess we had better just give up then. LOL

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