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Netflix Videos Can Be Downloaded and Saved Thanks to Google Vulnerability

It’s been discovered that a Google-owned program can be used to allow Netflix and Amazon Prime videos to be downloaded and stored on to your computer.

The embarrassing glitch, discovered by German researchers, uses a system called Widevine DRM and allows for copyrighted ‘premium’ content to be ripped straight from the streaming websites and saved through Chrome or Chromium-based browsers and it was found out and confirmed by Google over a month ago.

A quote from the original report from explains the nature of the vulnerability and how it’s being used:

“The problem is with the implementation of a digital management system called Widevine, which Google owns but did not create. It uses encrypted media extensions to allow the content decryption module in your browser to communicate with the content protection systems of Netflix and other streaming services to deliver their encrypted movies to you. EME handles the key or license exchange between the protection systems of content providers and a CDM component in your browser. When you choose a protected movie to play, the CDM sends a license request to the provider through the EME interface and receives a license in return, which allows the CDM to decrypt the video and send it to your browser player to stream the decrypted content.

A good DRM system should protect that decrypted data and only let you stream the content in your browser, but Google’s system lets you copy it as it streams. The point at which you can hijack the decrypted movie is right after the CDM decrypts the film and is passing it to the player for streaming.”

Despite knowing about it, Google has continued to allow those in the know to exploit the loophole for their own gain because, according to reports, they simply don’t know how to deal with it right now and a fix is yet to be employed.

Co-incidentally, one of Netflix’s next moves could be to introduce download service which may act as a deterrent to illegally downloading movies and TV.