Sony is sneaking rootkit software onto PCs of those playing their music CDs. The rootkit is difficult if not impossible to deinstall, very hard to detect, and deliberately hides itself. This in the name of copy protection.
From the pay version of the indispensable WindowsSecrets newsletter.
What if I told you the new audio CD you’ve been playing on your PC has installed software without your knowledge — and has used hacker techniques to hide that software so you won’t find out?
What if I also told you that this same software is also watching every program that you’re running on your PC, taking up system resources even if you aren’t listening to that audio CD?
On top of all that, what if I told you that this software also doesn’t come with an uninstall program and if you try to manually take it off, you could disable parts of Windows if you aren’t careful.
I bet you’d be pretty mad if you found out something like this. Well you wouldn’t be the only one.
Antispyware companies are calling the Sony rootkit "spyware."
Plus, the rootkit software is buggy, poorly written, insecure, and hackers are already exploiting it, with at least one trojan already in the wild.
In the first of many lawsuits, Sony has been sued in California under a recent statute banning installation of spyware.
Here’s 20 Sony CDs so far identified having the rootkit.
All because this greedy dinosaur of a record company is terrified someone might copy a CD.
And WindowsSecrets recommends running the free RootkitRevealer.
PS This doesn’t effects Macs. Much more of this crap and I will switch!
Virus writers are exploiting Sony’s controversial anti-piracy software to hide their malicious creations.
In late October Sony was found to be using stealth techniques to hide software that stopped some of its CDs being illegally copied.
Now three virus variants have been found that use the Sony software to evade detection by anti-virus programs.
The rootkit hides itself by using special names for its files. Virus makers discovered this and are doing the same, hiding their viruses in the rootkit. Sony couldn’t have tested their rootkit and appear to care not a whit for the security of the PCs their rootkit software infests.