[Cryptography] The Samsung global Blu-Ray meltdown

Peter Gutmann pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz
Fri Jun 26 22:11:21 EDT 2020

Not sure if others have been following this, but since 18 June all Samsung
Blu-ray players globally have been stuck in a reboot loop with a period of
about five seconds, barring a very small number that have never been connected
to the Internet or had firmware updates.  The only way to fix it is to send it
back to Samsung for a replacement, presumably for a reflash, with no-one yet
able to figure out what's causing it.  Guesses are:

1. A certificate expired, since it hit globally at the same time.
2. Bad firmware update, would also match but you'd expect a more staggered
   rollout worldwide, and seems odd that they'd deploy a device-killing update
   without being aware of it.
3. Something triggered a DRM lockout, a variant of (1).

In any case it looks like an interesting illustration of the conflict between
security vs. availability if the reason is (1) or (3).


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