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Post by trog @ 10:41am 08/11/05 | 20 Comments
You've probably seen this, but its an interesting story that is continuing to develop - the clever guys from SysInternals recently discovered that a Sony CD included some DRM which silently installs itself on your PC with no warning or notice. The SysInternals guys described this as a rootkit in their announcement and explained some details about it. There was also a followup looking at how hard it was to remove this software/spyware, and now the developers of the rootkit have (attempted to) rebut some of the claims made.

Sony are deservedly copping seven kinds of hell for this from all over the place. When major companies resort to what is essentially spyware - software that installs itself without your knowledge - you know you're in trouble. Might be time to switch off auto-run on your CD drive.


Latest Comments
Reverend Evil
Posted 11:00am 08/11/05
How come they don't put copy protection on their DVD's? I'd rather burn a DVD than anything they have to offer music wise.
Posted 11:07am 08/11/05
Uh.. how do you turn off autorun on your CD/DVD drive?
Posted 11:08am 08/11/05
Posted 11:09am 08/11/05
Posted 11:23am 08/11/05
I've just read all the article and corresponding follow ups, and damn, Sony is one dirty sneaky f*****. I'm turning off my CDrom autorun anyway so that's probably why I haven't got this problem just yet.
Posted 11:31am 08/11/05
Dirty dirty methods.

I just don't get this crap, all it ends up doing is really really pissing off the people who actually buy the products :/
Posted 11:35am 08/11/05
hehe, rootkit.
Posted 11:41am 08/11/05
all it ends up doing is really really pissing off the people who actually buy the products :/

Not really.

Most of their customers are dumb teeny-boppers who don't know what a rootkit is, nor would care less even if you told them. The geek population, most of whom would oppose this sneaky software, make up an insignificant portion.

I mean, I've mentioned this before, but I've openly told some people that they have spyware on their machines and that it's harvesting their email addresses and passwords. They told me that the companies could harvest whatever they like, as they don't give a s***.

last edited by parabol at 11:41:00 08/Nov/05
Posted 12:54pm 08/11/05
Posted 06:10pm 08/11/05
gpedit.msc is the first thing i do on a new install. turn off all the wanky s*** like autorun and the explorer cacheing crap that people always put on my usb drive.

Administrative templates / System / turn off autoplay
Posted 03:49pm 09/11/05
The worst part about the rootkit seems to be that you can call anything though it. Which means hackers now have an easily available way of exploiting anything on your system if you have sony software installed. GG
Posted 05:32pm 09/11/05

I liked Sony up until this point.
Posted 11:47pm 09/11/05
If you don't log in as an Administrator then it can't install anything. It's about now that Windows users need to catch up to the Linux security consciousness whereby running your system as Admin (root) is not recommended for security reasons.

Now we just have to get used to putting an Admin password in whenever we want to install anything or play games. Saves us from rootkits, viruses, trojans, worms etc, though.

I vaguely tried implementing this a few weeks back and got annoyed, and so went back to being Admin. I think it's time for a second attempt......
Posted 12:01am 10/11/05
isn't that fiarly difficult for windows xp, because it doesn't pop up saying "put administrator password here-", it just says "you don't have privilages, sucks to be you?
Posted 03:27am 10/11/05
yeah i read that the rootkit is now being used to hack in wow. some site. cbf finding link as i dont care and wow sux :P
Posted 03:45am 10/11/05
its obvious they have been in contact with al Qaeda training camps overseas
Posted 07:40am 10/11/05
WhiteWolf: Yes, it is a bit like that, but if you right click on most icons (sometimes you have to hold Shift or Ctrl while right clicking) it will give you a Run As option. You can also change your icons Properties target to be a script that uses "runas" on the commandline.
Posted 12:59am 11/11/05
Sony's "option" to uninstall the sneaky software is a joke. I've quoted a big block of text from another sysinternals page on the issue, as I feel it's a pretty important read:
Sony even gives those users like me that are aware of the uninstaller several hurdles to jump over. First you have to go to Sonys support site, guess that the uninstall information is in the FAQ, click on the uninstall link and then fill out a form with your email address and purchasing information, possibly adding yourself to Sonys marketing lists in the process.

Then, after you submit the information the site takes you to a page that notifies you that youll be receiving an email with a Case ID. A few minutes later you receive that email, which directs you to install the patch and then visit another page if you still really want to uninstall. That page requires you to install an ActiveX control, CodeSupport.Ocx, thats signed by First 4 Internet, enter your case ID and fill in the reason for your request. Then you receive an email within a few minutes that informs you that a customer service representative will email you uninstall instructions within one business day.

last edited by parabol at 00:59:50 11/Nov/05
Posted 01:30am 11/11/05
that is unbe'f*****g'leivible
all that jazz to uninstall some shizzal?? gay
google will have a removal sooner than later.
Posted 03:41am 11/11/05
And it still goes on ... this is very ungood:
Thomas Hesse, President of Sony BMG's global digital business division, showed up on NPR to try and sweep the entire thing under the rug:

"Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it," he asked. "The software is designed to protect our CDs from unauthorized copying, ripping."

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