DVD tracing

vbimport

#1

I am a television writer and I’m trying to come up with a scenario where someone is sent a DVD that was burned on a laptop and the person who receives it must trace the DVD back to the person who created it. Is this possible? Remember, this is for television and so it only has to be minimally feasible. Thank you.


#2

This should get the Scanmeisters in here.

They can trace the type of disk used and the drive and/or burning software used.

Of course, drives, software and the disk-blanks can be ubiquitous but some disk-blanks are [I]tres[/I] expensive (“archive certified”) and some collectors might use those (“I must possess the most detailed digital images of every Louvre masterpiece for all time!”) or perhaps a gov’t official (or admin staff) would have access to those limited supplies.

Bullet casings contain a unique imprint of the firing mechanism. Bullets themselves will contain unique striations. Supposedly.

I don’t think the ‘burned’ disk would contain anything with absolutely certain uniqueness - our Scanmeisters can address that.

However, just like a Selectric or a typewriter can leave a telltale mark based on a chipped character or bent key, there is a Grab Mechanism (the spindle) that the DVD Drive uses to snag the disk and clamp it for high-speed spins. It’s possible that, inside the center-hole, there could be a telltale “grab” mark (striations), or perhaps the outer edges of the disk might have a unique scrape.


#3

Burned DVD’s do not normally have identification marks that can be traced back to an individual or even to the hardware that was used to burn it. Some programs, like OptiDrive Control, will show the [B]type[/B] of drive that burned a disc but in my experience, this doesn’t work very often, and when it does, it only shows up on discs that were burned on very old burners, like my NEC 1300a dating back to 2003.

Tracing dvds is done these days with watermarks. But no one intentionally places a watermark in the dvds that they burn. They are usually added to keep people from sharing media on the net. Oscar voter screeners are an example of this, where each individual copy of the movie is tied to the one person who is supposed to receive it. If that copy is leaked online, then the watermark within the movie will show who was responsible.

But that doesn’t seem to fit what you are looking for.

Each dvd burner uses a burning strategy with each type of dvd that it can burn. The strategies for burning are contained within the firmware of the drive. Sometimes a burning strategy will leave a pattern of rings on the disk. If you have two discs that have the same mid code (manufacturer ID code), and show the same pattern with the same data, you might be able to make a huge leap of reasoning and say they are from the same drive. Or at least, from the same manufacturer.

Doesn’t come close to being real evidence or leading you to any individual.

Your best bet for tracing to an individual is a fingerprint on the disc. They are easy to put on there, and easy to miss. Or a bit of DNA left on the edge where they held it.


#4

Don’t remember if it was DVD+R or DVD-R, but one of these also stores the burner’s serial number on the written disc. At least some LiteOn drives should have been able to retrieve it with a tool called “Lite-On IT Debug Viewer” - but I guess that tool never became public.



#5

Was already implemented within CD-R. :wink:


#6

I don’t think it’d be too difficult to add some CustomerID-Value into an open-source DVD-CD burning package. The customer would never be aware they’re embedding some identifying code into some track that could be a hidden-file. Maybe a vendor wants to make sure his customers pay on-time - heck, it wouldn’t even have to be Apple, Microsoft or Oracle. It could be any custom-software house that provides biz operations software on a subscription basis.


#7

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2693136]I don’t think it’d be too difficult to add some CustomerID-Value into an open-source DVD-CD burning package. The customer would never be aware they’re embedding some identifying code into some track that could be a hidden-file. Maybe a vendor wants to make sure his customers pay on-time - heck, it wouldn’t even have to be Apple, Microsoft or Oracle. It could be any custom-software house that provides biz operations software on a subscription basis.[/QUOTE]
Don’t the DRM folks already have this in the works?


#8

I just noticed that I was using the wrong program. The right one is the “Disc Control Block Viewer”, but I couldn’t make it display the DCB of any disc, regardless if CD-R, DVD-R or DVD+R.

However it showed DVD-ROM for my DVD+R disc, probably because I booktype them all to DVD-ROM.



#9

Yes, exactly. HDMI is even the avenue that assures this data is passed along in a Display Only Format, too. Of course, I don’t think “extortion” was invented by Al Capone or even in these most recent centuries. One of the dual popes (14th Century?) wanted to embed identifying marks (on ears? foreheads? Eww, kinda Hawthorian - but maybe that’s where he got the idea!) so clergy couldn’t hopscotch around between the [I]Franc[/I] and Roman See.


#10

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2692959]This should get the Scanmeisters in here.

Bullet casings contain a unique imprint of the firing mechanism. Bullets themselves will contain unique striations. Supposedly.
[/QUOTE]

People often believe what they see on police TV dramas.

Bullets do indeed aquire unique styrations as they pass through a gun barrel… however bullets also tend to aquire “other markings” as they follow their path through space an other objects that they encounter
that tend to distort or completely obliterate these unique markings.

unjacketed lead bullets especially.

The general unique-ness of rifling marks is greatly over-rate when advanced manufacturing techniques such as automated “Hammer-forging” is used to produce barrels (the barrels are literally formed by a multiple hammer forging machine that beats a tube down around a carbide mandrel)

It is ignore by police drama script writers that “ballistic evidence” either comes from excluding a particular firearm OR examination of the shell casing.

as far as tracing Burned DVD’s to a particular source?

I know that they can be traced to a particular DVD-Burner, however as there is no national (or international) database of DVD burners they’d have to have a strong enough suspicion with supporting evidence
to get a search warrant and seize your computers and burners to tie their “suspect disc” to your particular burner.

The task would be not unlike finding a war grave and tracing that soldier’s death to a particular rifle used in the war he died in.

Unless they strongly suspect that his death was “Friendly fire” and had a strong suspicion that someone in his own unit killed the fellow they’d generally have too many places to look to have more than “Bob Hope or No Hope” of finding the weapon used to do the deed…

THE first thing government security people do when searching for a “leaker” is to check if there are any detected unauthorized accessing of the leaked information then they compile a list of everyone who had legitimate access to the information leaked.

Most often a leaker will use someone else’s access codes
so they look for people accessing the data at times they were occupied elsewhere.

Personally if I were burning a DVD I was afraid of being traced back to me I would obviously not use my own computer.

I might actually be tempted to build one out of loose "flotsam & jetsam"
around the work bench, install a temporary “Trial version” of the OS and burning software, burn the disc then dismantle the specific computer and scatter the pieces to the four winds…(drop the pieces in widely scattered dumpsters)

Oh and buy the blank discs at Walmart and pay cash…

Good luck tracing it back anywhere…


#11

@ AllanDeGroot , Since this is a bit off topic it is inresponse to your post.
IIRC Some bullets & maybe all by now have markers added to each batch.
Although not a way to specifically identify a specific gun . These would tell the area the ammunition was sold in .Also if a person was a suspect still having bullets from the same batch might be suspicious.
Not that I recommend this but probably the most untracable gun would be an unriffled black powder . With the balls being home poured. Not too good for long range but certainly deadly at close range.


#12

There have been PROPOSALS to add “markers”, typically micro-stamping to firearms, cartridges & projectiles as well as “Taggants” to be added to propellants, but NONE have been proven to be practical to implement let alone put into production.

It’s far close to “Science-Fiction” than “Science”

And as ammunition if properly stored has a “shelf-life” of well over 50 years…

It would take decades for stamping to have the effect those that propose it are seeking.

The fact that a burned DVD has the serial number of the burner recorded on the disc was intended originally to trace counterfeiters, not that it’s ever been actually used for that purpose…


#13

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2692960]Some programs, like OptiDrive Control, will show the [B]type[/B] of drive that burned a disc but in my experience, this doesn’t work very often, and when it does, it only shows up on discs that were burned on very old burners, like my NEC 1300a dating back to 2003.[/QUOTE]

I thought most drives still wrote that information to DVD-R to this day. Of course, the data written may not match the marketing name as consumers know the drives; older LiteOn drives may display as a Sony drive; discs written in a consumer player will show the name assigned to the drive inside, if not a generic name (so a standalone Panasonic recorder will show a “recorded with” value of Matshita [string of characters], etc etc).

But since most people don’t even realize this happens on DVD-R and are pretty surprised to see it, I doubt anyone would try to use this as a means of identification, even if the serial number information was written by every drive in an easily visible format.


#14

If it only happens with DVD-R, then the main reason I’ve probably missed it is due to me using +R discs 90% of the time.

I just looked at a recent burn on DVD -R and it misidentified the drive I used to burn however. I don’t have a TSST SH-S183B. So it would be difficult to match that up with my SH-S203B without prior knowledge that the marketing name and the identification name don’t always align.

Edit: Also, another fun variation in this. My Samsung shows the burner used to burn the DVD-R disc. My Pioneer 207MBK doesn’t.


#15

This bullet stuff is very interesting, but of no value to your scenario. The discs are obviously impossible to trace, so other methods must be used. As this is a story, perhaps the person that sent the CD bought the last pack of 10 discs that the store stocked and are now obsolete/updated packaging or whatever. the buyer scrapes a car when leaving and someone writes down the registration number. See what I mean, this could even be something to do with a serious crime and a forensic team identifies the paint left if the disc senders plate was missed, but the collision was seen and reported to the police. Anyway, I’m not writing the story. I hope that is a little more useful and a way around not being able to identify the disc directly. Think laterally, that usually works. Best of luck wit the story.


#16

From a storyline perspective I think it would be interesting to have the person receiving the DVD trace the person that produced it from clues in the actual video.

For example, plants shown in the background that only grow in certain countries, background audio of a TV show that only shows up after enhancement, items lying on a table with a foreign language on them, views of scenery in the background to the video that eventually enable them to identify the location etc.

But similarly to what voxsmart says, I’m not writing the story. :wink:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#17

Of course, my favorite technique is trying to get Wombler’s fingerprints - with traces of the victim’s blood - embedded inside the DVD layers, which he carelessly touched just as he dropped the 3D video of him committing the heinous acts, too. Fortunately, our crime-solvers were able to peel apart the disk and discover all the evidence needed.

Alas, I don’t know what I’ll do for a sequel.


#18

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2693386]Of course, my favorite technique is trying to get Wombler’s fingerprints - with traces of the victim’s blood - embedded inside the DVD layers, which he carelessly touched just as he dropped the 3D video of him committing the heinous acts, too. Fortunately, our crime-solvers were able to peel apart the disk and discover all the evidence needed.

Alas, I don’t know what I’ll do for a sequel.[/QUOTE]

‘The Great Escape’ perhaps? :bigsmile:

[B]Wombler[/B]