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Chrome Has a Bug That Makes It Easy To Pirate Movies

While downloading videos from Youtube is easy with addons like Easy Youtube Video Downloader even in full-hd and high-quality mp3 with ease, the same is not possible for DRM copy-protected videos on paid services like Netflix.

Two researchers, David Livshits and Alexandra Mikityuk, identified Google of a potential bug in the Chrome browser. The users can copy and download movies from online streaming sites such as Netflix. These are the movies that are encrypted and are copy-protected. The researchers notified of the potential bug on May 24, but Google still has to respond to the problem.

Video Downloader

The Bug: What It Can Do

When Google Chrome users stream media through the browser, they can create a copy of the movie easily. The problem looks simple but in reality, not everyone can download the movie when streaming via Chrome.

The issue is with the Widevine, which is the digital management system owned by the Google. Widevine is responsible for decrypting the encrypted videos from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other online streaming sites. These sites have strict content protection systems in place to keep the content secure. The idea is to only allow the viewers to see the video on the browser. Downloading the videos is not allowed in any case.

Technicalities of the Issue

Whenever a user tries to watch a movie which is protected by the content protection system of the streaming site, the CDM component in the browser sends a license request through EME interface to the provider (such as Netflix). When a valid license key is returned, CDM then decrypts the video and makes it viewable.

The DRM system in the Chrome allows the users to copy the movie as it is being streamed. When the CDM sends the decrypted movie to the movie player, it is the time when a copy of the movie can be generated.

This is a serious threat to both the steaming websites and to Google Chrome.

Despite the fact that a lot of people already know of the bug, only a few can download a movie when it is being streamed as it requires technical knowledge.

Proof-Of-Concept Showing Video Downloades Without Hassle

Who Is To Fix It

Google has 90 days to fix the bug. The researchers have notified the Google and now they have to wait for 90 days. Google notifies of all the bugs and technical issues to its vendors and gives them a duration of no more than 90 days to fix them. If they cannot fix in 90 days, Google then has the right to disclose the issue publicly.

Till then, everyone has to wait and see if the vendors come up with a solution.

Can It Really Be Fixed?

According to the researchers who identified the bug, it is easy to fix. But Google spokesperson said, the issue is not specific to the Google Chrome rather it is a platform-specific bug. Any web-browser that’s created from open source Chromium will have the same bug. Since Google Chrome is created in the Chromium, therefore, it has the bug.

If this is the case, fixing the bug will not be easy. Even if Google re-codes its web browser and fixes the issue, all the other browsers that aren’t re-coded will still have the bug.

This makes it a serious threat to several web browsers and streaming sites. Let’s hope it is fixed once and for all to avoid pirated video issue.


nimd4's picture

Hey guys!..:)

I've not tried it -yet- since I'm currently, only, using teh Mozilla Firefox everywhere, but: "Any web-browser that’s created from open source Chromium will have the same bug."

^^ Means that (the new(est)) Opera is, also, able to do it... Just btw. =)

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