Hackers have managed to crack an Intel-developed encryption code that is currently used by a number of industry heavyweights to secure high-definition video content and devices.
"[Yes], this High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) circumvention does appear to work...It does appear to be a master key," Intel spokesperson Tom Waldrop told Fox News.
"We have confirmed through testing that you can derive keys for devices [such as set top boxes, Blu-ray and DVD players] from published material that do work with the keys produced by our security technology."
However, Waldrop claimed the hack was unlikely to prompt a "sudden increase" in piracy.
"For someone to use this information to unlock anything, they would have to implement it in silicon - make a computer chip.
"[But] it would be a lot of work and a lot of expense to do that...[Still], we will use the appropriate remedies to address the issue, where we choose to."
Meanwhile, John Brownlee of Geek.com reported that the code had apparently been cracked by an individual or individuals "in the business" of making HDCP-compatible devices.
"The revelation of the 'master key' will [undoubtedly] allow black-market device makers to create devices [capable of] ripping HDCP-protected content without content providers being able to identify and shut off the device," explained Brownlee.
"Meaning, by the time Hollywood first decides to stream a movie that's still into theaters into consumers' homes - devices will already be on the market that will [permit] pirates to make perfect digital copies of the stream and upload it to Bittorrent - within hours of a film's debut."