Sea of Noise

Fri, 04 Nov 2005

Buy a CD, Rootkit Your Computer!

I don't buy music with DRM, whether on CD or via iTunes. But, hey, even though I'm a DJ who spends $1000+ on music each year, companies like Sony BMG probably aren't quaking in their boots about losing my business. Hopefully, thanks to a detailed analysis of Sony's DRM crap on a Van Zant CD (ironically titled Get Right with The Man) by Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals, your average consumer will think twice before buying "copy protected" music, too:

The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall. Worse, most users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files.

Maybe musicians will think twice before signing with a label like Sony BMG, too.

For those who find Mark's analysis a bit too detailed, Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte have a nice discussion of this and related problems in episode #12 of their Security Now! podcast. (Though, please Leo, Mark Russinovich is a "hacker"; scriptkiddies aren't "hackers"!)

There is one humorous side of all this brouhaha: Sony's rootkit is making it possible for World of Warcraft players to circumvent Blizzard's anti-cheating software. In fact, in the ultimate irony, some are apparently even pirating the Sony DRM software!

[via Security Mentor]

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