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Sony Your Rights Online

More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit" 608

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the to-much-to-believe dept.
A couple of days ago we posted a story about Sony DRM installing a rootkit. Since then we have seen many more stories on the subject that I thought were worth sharing. manno gave us a link to the inquirer and salemnic sent us a page from the washington post. smallfries gave us one from PC Pro. It's nice to see this story not getting lost in the cracks since the implications are gigantic.
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More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit"

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  • by Donniedarkness (895066) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ssenkradeinnoD>> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:44AM (#13931897) Homepage
    Even if this doesn't go to court, at least this is getting some attention... and ANY bad attention for DRM makes me happy.
    • People seem amazed when they learn what DRM technology is capable of. Interestingly, I'm afraid that most casual readers wouldn't understand the implications of DRM, even if it actually received a substantial amount of press. I know that "rootkit" isn't the most commonly used term.

      In fact, to a casual reader, it would almost seem as though anything with an acronym such as "Digital Rights Management" would be designed to protect your digital rights. It's entirely misleading.

      If all else fails, Sony can always
      • it would almost seem as though anything with an acronym such as "Digital Rights Management" would be designed to protect your digital rights. It's entirely misleading.

        Yes it is.
        That's the point, it's got a double plus good word in it's title, so it must be good!
        For other examples of this: PATRIOT act and "operation [adjective] freedom"... how could ANYONE oppose them without appearing anti-freedom to the uninformed?
    • by xtracto (837672) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:19AM (#13932205) Journal
      You may be interested in my signature... and my XCP affected Album list [slashdot.org].

      Hope this helps!

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:45AM (#13931901)
    We Got Root
    • by Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:03PM (#13932627)
      They do... This is their Minimum system requirements for content protected discs:
      To listen to the music on this disc, you need a PC with the following minimum system requirements:
      • One of the following operating systems: Windows 98SE, ME, 2000 SP4, XP Home or XP Pro
      • Pentium II or higher with Windows 98SE, Windows ME
      • Pentium III or higher with Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Pro
      • at least 64MB RAM above recommended OS memory level
      • CD-ROM/DVD-ROM disc drive
      • Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher
      • Microsoft DirectX 9.0 or higher with non-Windows XP systems (download)
      • Logged in with Administrator rights
      .. you need to be root to listen to music. Just amazing.
  • Hope it catches on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:46AM (#13931911)
    "infected with DRM"

    Love it. Great phrase. Maybe it'll catch on.
    • by mc900ftjesus (671151) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:41AM (#13932420)
      For god's sake, yes. ./ we are all now responsible for spreading a new term "infected with DRM." A bad publicity spin is a better way to combat DRM than actaully explaing it to Joe Sixpack. The word infected implies that it's bad, christ I've met people who think viruses are like human viruses (no one makes them they just happen). Leave the tech speak at home, just dumb it down to three words: infected with DRM.
      • by fireweaver (182346)
        mc900ftjesus (671151) wrote: "DRM." A bad publicity spin is a better way to combat DRM than actaully explaing it to Joe Sixpack. The word infected implies that it's bad, christ I've met people who think viruses are like human viruses (no one makes them they just happen). Leave the tech speak at home, just dumb it down to three words: infected with DRM."

        I would tell Joe Sixpack something like this: "Joe, if you try to play one of these CD's that's got that copy-protection or something else called 'Dee-Are
      • by MilenCent (219397) <{johnwh} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @04:20PM (#13935050) Homepage
        Hmm... maybe we should get stickers made and pay a little visit to the local Walmart....
    • by gerf (532474) <edtgerf@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:37PM (#13932966) Journal

      "Infected with DRM"


      Again, I must state that whenever I clean a computer with Adaware/Spybot/AVG/Panda Activescan/CWShredder/ect, I'm now going to have to ask one more thing:


      "Have you bought and played any music CDs lately?"


      How sad is it that doing something so legal can become associated with other computer slow-downs as spyware/malware/adware. This is what is going to irk the general public, and hopefully get people to look at DRM a bit more closely.

    • Fantastic term!

      Me: That CD's infected with DRM

      Friend: What's DRM?

      Me: Digital Restrictions Management. SONY has infected that CD so that it will alter the way Windows works so that you can't put that CD onto your iPod or make a copy to use in your car player that eats CD's occasionally.

      That might finally get through.

    • This is reported everywhere as a rootkit, something that can't be uninstalled, and that may compromise your system. It is, in fact, a virus. Personally I hope anti-virus software will start detecting it, reporting it as virus to the user ("Sony DRM virus found!") and remove it.
  • Hrm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by LilGuy (150110) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:47AM (#13931924)
    So they're gonna root all my cds? Yet another reason to switch to KaZaa/Grokster/Mule/DC++

    *sigh* Silly executives, rape is for kids.
  • by NerdBuster (831349) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:47AM (#13931925)
    "It's nice to see this story not getting lost in the cracks since the implications are gigantic."

    With Slashdot reporting this 10 times a day I doubt it will get lost :)

    • With Slashdot reporting this 10 times a day I doubt it will get lost :)
      This story on /. is preaching to the choir. We all know about this. What IS newsworthy is that this is starting to hit mainstream press (well, at least getting closer to mainstream). If this makes it to Newsweek, it will give Sony a big black eye.
  • by snotclot (836055) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:47AM (#13931927)
    Ok sure, so boycotting Sony is not realistic. Or is it...? We can really do without them. Screw their stupid DRM'ed Memorysticks, we have our SD and CompactFlash. Screw their VAIO's, we have Dell and Taiwanese laptops.. Screw their TV's, we have better ones from other brands. Screw PS3, we have XBOX2 and Nintendo Revolution. Screw PSP, we have Nintendo DS. Once they get the collective shaft, well, other companies will think twice before pulling shit like this.
    • What really sucks though, is boycotting a company you don't buy anything from anyway. Honestly I haven't purchased shit of theirs since my last pair of headphones. I'm not really brand conscious though, more of an impulse buyer. I suppose they somewhat rely on the impulse buyer as well, so maybe I'll make a dent if I keep their underhanded tactics in mind before I make it to the register with anything with their logo on it in hand.
      • The problem with simply boycotting (on a small scale, as I assume most non-geeks don't care) is that companies won't understand why sales for product X or for their company as a whole are down and it is human nature to look everywhere but within.

        Look at the RIAA/MPAA and their correlation of sales/piracy. They'll never link sales could be down because the current music sucks or whatever - it's always the market's fault somehow - piracy, recession, depression, etcetera.

        So next time you are tempted to buy a
    • Not just "Sony" (Score:5, Informative)

      by uqbar (102695) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:40AM (#13932412)
      Boycott all of Sony Music - this includes labels like:
      Arista Records
      BMG
      Columbia Records
      Epic Records
      J Records
      Jive Records
      LaFace Records
      Legacy Recordings
      Provident Music Group
      RCA Records
      RCA Victor Group
      RLG - Nashville
      Sony
      So So Def Records
      Verity Records

      As a recording engineer / producer I'm against piracy - but I also hate DRM screwing with my machine and making it hard to enjoy the music I purchased in the way I want.

      Support indy labels, and write letters to artists you like that are on majors - tell them to move on to an indy label or start their own.

      And if you're really mad (as I am) boycott all of Sony. While Sony music walks to its own drummer, the parent company can't be loving the bad publicity.

      I stopped buying all Sony products (including the pro gear I use as an audio engineer) when they initially started their annoying DRM. It is easy to break, but makes normal use of the CD harder.
    • My Letter to Sony (Score:5, Interesting)

      by macklin01 (760841) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:59AM (#13932585) Homepage

      Hello.

      I have just learned about the malware that Sony has started to add to "compact disks" (in quotes, because Sony breaks the CD standard) via poorly-written DRM software from First4Internet. It is simply unconscionable that Sony would resort to such unethical lengths to prevent the pirating of a software. In fact, criminal trespass comes to mind, given that the software differs from what is described in the EULA and non-removable.

      I'm outraged at this behavior demonstrated by Sony, and I can assure you that I am no longer a Sony customer. In short, although I am a computer enthusiast/technologist who builds his own systems and enjoys gaming, and although I am a scientist who uses high-end computing resources on a daily basis, I won't be purchasing any of the following from Sony in the next few years:

      1) Stereos and portable audio equipment
      2) Flat screen televisions, plasma TV's, etc
      3) High-end computer LCD monitors
      4) Laptop computers
      5) Computer CD and DVD drives
      6) Sony-branded CD, DVD, and floppy disk media
      7) PlayStation 2 or 3
      8) PlayStation Games
      9) PlayStation Portable

      and needless to say,

      10) Sony and BMG music.

      If you break standards on DVD equipment, add Sony and Columbia TriStar movies to that list.

      Thank you for making my future purchase decisions so much easier.

      Sincerely,

      ****

    • Screw their stupid DRM'ed Memorysticks, we have our SD...

      SD is an abbreviation for Secure Digital. The remaining irony is left as an excercise to the reader.

  • Let us hope: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Winckle (870180) <mark.winckle@co@uk> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:49AM (#13931940) Homepage
    That this sets a precedent, and that Sony don't wriggle out of this, at the very best it could point out some of the absurdities of the DMCA.
    • Re:Let us hope: (Score:5, Informative)

      by n0dalus (807994) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:56AM (#13932003) Journal
      Unfortunately Sony may be able to claim that they offer an uninstaller.

      From TFA:
      Hypponen said the only way to uninstall the program in the conventional sense (without running the risk of hosing your system or CD-ROM drive) is to contact Sony BMG directly via a Web form and request removal.

      At that point, a real, live person will call you back and ask for all kinds of information about your system, and your reason for wanting to remove the software. You're then directed to a Web page that downloads an ActiveX program (yes, you must be using Microsoft's Internet Explorer to do this), which determines what version is installed and reports that back to First4Internet. Then you get an e-mail containing a link to another site that downloads something that finally uninstalls the Sony program.


      So, although they make you sell your firstborn to get it, they apparently do offer an uninstaller. IANAL, but maybe someone can still argue that the uninstaller needs to be bundled with the CD. Sony might also be liable if the installation damages your computer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:50AM (#13931948)
    Just never buy a cd again.

    Me, I think I'll just pirate all my music from now on. That way I don't have to worry about any of this DRM nonsense!
  • First4Internet (Score:5, Informative)

    by WarwickRyan (780794) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:53AM (#13931972)
    The malware installed is created by a company called First4Internet.

    They're based in Banbury, Oxford and their CEO is Mathew Gilliant-Smith DBC.

    6 South Bar Street
    Banbury
    Oxfordshire
    OX16 9AA
    United Kingdom

    All info (and more) available on their website here http://www.first4internet.com/contact.aspx/ [first4internet.com]

    That's about 20 minutes in the car for me, should I go pay them a visit - taking the best wishes of the /. community with me? ;)
  • Contains LAME code? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sulka (4250) <sulka@i[ ]fi ['ki.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:53AM (#13931974) Homepage Journal
    Interesting.. Some reports Finnish reader of this news in Sektori.com [sektori.com] (in Finnish) reports Contents\GO.EXE file seems to contain parts of the LAME player. Can anyone verify this? Is Sony distributing LGPL software on the CDs?
    • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:07AM (#13932109) Journal
      Oh, I hope it's so. The delicious, tasty, non-fattening irony. Using an embedded copyright violation to enforce copyrights. I shudder in ecstacy at the thought.

      Who'll follow up on this thread? I'm sure we can find enough free-as-in-freedom warriors to do a tech analysis on the software and confirm the report in parent comment? C'mon, hoisting retards [sonymusic.com] on their own petards [wiktionary.org] is just too much fun!

  • Yes, this is bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sheepdot (211478) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:55AM (#13931989) Journal
    Sony could be held liable in a class-action lawsuit. Anyone can design a virus and name it "$sys$" now, and AV software won't be able to detect it if this rootkit is installed. An IM worm could use this naming scheme, only infect a few thousand people, and the news would report, "SONY's DRM software used to hide latest virus". It'd be a horrible blow, and they'd totally deserve it. I still think we'll see a virus/worm that does this before the end of this month.

    On a related note: World of Warcraft hackers are now using Sony's DRM rootkit to hide from "the Warden" [wowsharp.net]. I tried to submit this as a standalone story, but since I saw this DRM news update, I figured I'd post it here.

    Is Sony aiding and abetting cheaters?
    • "Is Sony aiding and abetting cheaters?"

      Doesn't Sony Entertainment develope (and produce) Everquest? Heh... I wonder what the media could do with THIS...

      "Sony using rootkit to ruin WoW"

    • Re:Yes, this is bad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Renraku (518261) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:33AM (#13932341) Homepage
      People are using Sony's software to violate the ToS of World of Warcraft.

      Something that they tried to HIDE on people's computers to RESTRICT them. People are now abusing it against Blizzard. Blizzard has 'just cause' to start a lawsuit.
      • Re:Yes, this is bad (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PhilHibbs (4537)
        Blizzard has 'just cause' to start a lawsuit.
        Against Sony? No way, that's stretching the point too far. It's as daft as suing P2P software authors because people are using their software to violate copyright. Oh, wait...
  • Not in Europe? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alphix (33559) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:59AM (#13932028) Homepage
    It might be interesting to note that in this newspaper article [aftonbladet.se] (sorry, only in Swedish), the Swedish CEO of Sony states that the copy protection is not used for CD:s sold in Europe and that "no copy protection will be introduced before it works well both for consumers and copyright owners" (which can of course be interpreted in many ways).
    • Re:Not in Europe? (Score:3, Informative)

      The situation with Copy-Control CD is much worse in Sweden (and in the rest of Europe) than in the USA. Most major label CDs by scandinavian artists, as well as many international releases are protected/crippled.

      I only have a few old crippled CDs, and I don't buy any new ones, so I can't tell if the rootkit is on anyone of them.

      However, the Swedish Sony exec is blatantly lying in the article when he claims that Sony won't release any copy-controlled CDs until the protection works well for both the customers
  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:02AM (#13932061) Homepage
    ...I did the responsible thing *cough*. I e-mailed Microsoft and expressed my concern about how this mucking about with the kernel stood in the relation to the EULA, support (who the hell wants to support a kernel patched with unknown code supplied by a third party) and future patches and upgrades. This could cause it to fail to validate like a warez'd install, cause breakage because a patch half-overwrites the hack and any other number of wierd things. I also expressed my concern of how this would reflect on the security and userfriendlyness of Windows (read: Windows has enough issues without Sony messing around). I really hope Microsoft comes out and tell Sony what they think.
  • Sony is losing it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shanen (462549) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:03AM (#13932073) Homepage Journal
    I still stand by my earlier comments on this topic [slashdot.org], but at this point it's pretty clear it isn't just a /. rumor. I used to have a lot of respect for Sony, but it's been pretty well dissipated over the years. Their decision to dump PDAs greatly saddened and annoyed me, but I've also had too many problems with their hardware to buy any more... They just couldn't handle the pressure of needing to have ever higher profits and being squeezed between their one low-margin hardware-oriented parts of the company and the high-greed software-oriented parts. Now they've completely trashed their own reputation, and I do feel morally constrained to sell my stock, too.

    I guess I'll send them a sharply worded letter first, but I really don't see any way that I can do any business with a company like this. Not even as a shareholder.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:04AM (#13932082)
    Apparently this rootkit does not run on Mac OSX. Yet another example of the vast library of software available only to Windows users. :-(

    Look at Sony's FAQ,
    http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/faq.html#listeni ng [sonybmg.com]

    The protected CD looses all features and appears as a normal CD on a Macintosh. This really sucks!

    Im switching to Windows!
  • by hunterx11 (778171) <`hunterx11' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:10AM (#13932137) Homepage Journal
    Even if you do agree to give Sony the rights to your first-born child in the EULA, wouldn't this violate laws in some states, such as the Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act in California?
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:15AM (#13932176) Homepage
    Any news on how Symantec, Mcafee, and the other so called security firms are treating this? I'd certainly expect an up-to-date anti-virus software to stop this from installing.
  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:18AM (#13932201) Homepage
    Could be that Sony and the major music labels are using this to create intentional fear, uncertainty and doubt. Who ever said the record labels want you to play music CD's on your computer, in fact wasn't there a genuine effort by the RIAA cartel to create CD's that wouldn't work at all on a PC? If they can't get the end user to cease this undesired activity they can always frighten the luser into submission.

    Stick that music CD into my computer? No you don't, I'll become infected with malware.

    Yes, perhaps it's as the subject suggests, a wild conspiracy theory. It's not as though this industry wanted to create laws to legalize hacking P2P users or anything.
    • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:25AM (#13932269)
      Looks more like a fuckup by careless management to me. Because the price in lost reputation will outweigh any benefits from reduced copying.
      I'd bet they simply did not understand the implications of their "copy protection".
      Or maybe they knew and did not expect it to make much waves.

      But I don't think Sony management wanted the kind of publicity they have now.
  • by yeremein (678037) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:18AM (#13932203)
    Any malware whose filename/registry keys start with $sys$ will be shielded from antivirus and antispyware software by XCP. This gaping security hole represents a great opportunity for script kiddies. Sony should do the responsible thing and immediately recall all rootkit-infested CDs.
  • How to beat this... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:20AM (#13932217)
    As soon as you have agreed to be bound by the terms and conditions of the EULA, this CD will automatically install a small proprietary software program (the "SOFTWARE") onto YOUR COMPUTER. The SOFTWARE is intended to protect the audio files embodied on the CD, and it may also facilitate your use of the DIGITAL CONTENT. Once installed, the SOFTWARE will reside on YOUR COMPUTER until removed or deleted. However, the SOFTWARE will not be used at any time to collect any personal information from you, whether stored on YOUR COMPUTER or otherwise.

    Emphasis is mine. Anyways, nothing is the EULA says that I can't just go and delete it. Sure, it may reinstall, but can't we delete it the minute we eject the CD? Can we write a script to do that?
    • by mopslik (688435) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:34AM (#13932359)

      Anyways, nothing is the EULA says that I can't just go and delete it.

      Except that, if you read through Mark Russinovich's blog [sysinternals.com], you'll see that it cripples your system when you do this.

      When I logged in again I discovered that the CD drive was missing from Explorer. Deleting the drivers had disabled the CD [drive]. Now I was really mad... I know from my past work with device driver filter drivers that if you delete a filter driver's image, Windows fails to start the target driver.

      He goes on to detail the steps that were necessary to bring his computer back to fully-functional condition. It's not for Joe Q. Public.

  • Anti-PC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vandenh (224583) <vandenh@noSPam.hotmail.com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:23AM (#13932254) Homepage
    Well Sony has all the reasons to mess with PCs stuff. They don't *really* want people to use their PC for any media stuff... Sony wants everybody to use custom hardware solutions made by Sony. PS3, PSP, Memory Stick,.....

    So messing with your PC looks like a good thing to do for Sony (especially since it also f*cks with MS).
  • H.R. 2929 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spurtle15 (899792) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:28AM (#13932294)
    Has this passed? Is it applicable?

    (4) inducing the user to install a computer software component onto the computer or preventing efforts to block installation of a software component;

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:h.r.0 2929 [loc.gov]:

    If they used racketeering laws to go after the RIAA, why not antispyware legislation against this?
  • Fix for the problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:31AM (#13932333)
    Posted by: Dickrichard | Nov 1, 2005 11:03:07 PM

    I'm posting this via a proxy just in case Sony doesn't like what I post...
    After reading this news story I decided to go after this software and defeat it, and I did.

    The following is how you kill this hidden install. I did this in Windows XP Pro, so attempt on another OS at your discretion. This will require Administrator rights. Please read through the entire instruction set, and if you don't feel comfortable attempting this, then don't. The rest of you, follow me ;)
    1. hit windowsKey+R to open the RUN command. Type services.msc to run the services dialog. Find 'Plug and Play Device Manager' in the list, right click and choose Properties. Under the General tab of the box that comes up, in the middle there should be the "startup type" of the service. Set this value to "disabled" and click OK. Next find the service named 'XCP CD Proxy' and set its startup type to disabled as well. You won't be able to stop these services, only disable them from starting next time Windows starts.
    2. Download and run the latest Blacklight beta from http://www.f-secure.com/blacklight/ [f-secure.com] This program will find the 'super hidden' CD proxy files we're trying to get rid of. When it finishes searching click next until you reach the screen that shows you all the hidden files it found. Select all these files and click the "rename" button to the right. Windows will restart once you click OK, and the files will be renamed.
    3. Once Windows restarts you will have lost any and all CD/DVD drives. DON'T PANIC! Hit windowsKey+Pause/Break to open up your System dialog. Click on the Hardware tab, then on the "Device Manager" button. Your system will not list any CD/DVD drives, but you should see IDE slot(s) that have little yellow circles with exclamation points over them indicating a device with a problem. In order to restore the drivers to their un-sony-altered state you must right click on the affected device and choose "uninstall driver". Do this for each device with a problem.
    4. Now that you have uninstalled the affected drivers, simply navigate to your Control Panel via the Start Menu and choose "Add Hardware". The add hardware wizard will run and find your previously disabled devices. Your drives are now restored and functional, and this potentially dangerous menace vanquished.
    5. Advanced users may now go and clean up the mess, but this step is not necessary. Delete renamed files, and dare I say it, registry keys that pertain to Sony's program. Use this list for reference: http://www.europe.f-secure.com/v-descs/xcp_drm.sht ml [f-secure.com] but nothing really beats searching.

    As an added note, once I got my drives back up and running, I popped in the CD that put this program on my computer. I was able to use a multi-session aware program (Roxio) to access the audio portion of the disk and rip MP3s to my hard drive where they will now be listened to in my preferred player the way God intended it to be. Oh, and the only illegal thing that went on here was what Sony did!

    CONSUMER 1 - SONY 0

    P.S. Once you rip MP3s from your Sony disc, burn it the old fashioned way, with gasoline and a match!
  • Other affected CDs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vmxeo (173325) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @11:42AM (#13932431) Homepage Journal
    I showed the last to one of my coworkers, who immediately started worried about a recent Switchfoot CD he played on his machine. Sure enough, not only did the CD have DRM on it, but it seems to have installed the same rootkit as the example given in the Sysinternals website. Which of course makes me wonder, how many CDs did Sony put this into?

    I'm starting to think it'd be worthwhile to create a domain policy to prevent this malware from running on any of our network machines....
  • by Timo_UK (762705) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:06PM (#13932667) Homepage
    Is there a list of CDs that are affected, except the one Mark Russinovich used.
  • by Hachey (809077) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:13PM (#13932754)
    Follow this link [sonymusic.com] to send a comment to Sony. I know I won't be buying their products anymore, and I sure as hell let them know.

  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:15PM (#13932775)

    ... for stuff like this. If you care enough to REALLY do something about it, there are really only two things to do:

    1. File a tip with the US Department of Homeland Security

      Intentionally or otherwise, what the program is exploiting a flaw in a popular operating system in a way that not only enables them to control access to the data on the CD -- which itself is illegal, but fat chance the government will help you with that -- but it in so doing opens up the machine to facile infection with illicit software which it will then actively cover up and make detectable only to very knowledgable users. If DHS is serious about cyber terrorism, they shouldn't be letting companies subvert the already weak security of the predominant operating system and prime them for becoming unwitting pawns in terrorist activity.
    2. Develop a SafeDupe campaign.

      Make a simple flyer explaining what's happened and the implications and see if local record stores would be amenable to helping out. This could be as little as having them stuff an info packet in their bags, to leaving a stack of Live Linux CDs that do nothing but permit a user to duplicate a CD to CD-R without the offending software, or even have a "SafeDupe" day where a few people setup a table where purchasers can show proof of purchase and bring a blank CD to have it "SafeDuped" for them. Obviously, most record stores won't want to rock the boat, but a well-spoken and sincere person (armed with copies of coverage from the mainstream media talking about the problem) ought to be able to find at least one or two store managers with an ethical streak.

      It's perfectly legal to make such copies, and if you don't believe me, ask a lawyer or download the Bern Convention on Copyright and read it yourself.

    And remember kids, calm, cool, and collected. No name calling, no vitriole. Attribute not malice where stupidty is explanation enough, etc. And do make sure that whatever you do is entirely on the up-and-up, transparent to everyone involved, and that the press and SonyMusic are well informed on the subject.

  • by frinkacheese (790787) * on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:28PM (#13932890) Journal
    Does anybody know if there is a Linux port of this RK? Or will it run on WINE? I would really love to have this RK on my Linux box. I think it's the only thing stopping me from using Linux on the desktop at the moment.
  • by softcoder (252233) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @12:43PM (#13933019)
    If SONY circumvents the security I have installed on MY machine with their rootkit are THEY in violation of the DMCA?
  • One nasty idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonr (1130) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @01:19PM (#13933386) Homepage Journal
    Buy and return.
    Buy something from Sony, like PS2 or a camera, and then return it the day after. AFAIK, return items go pretty high up in the supply chain. Tell why you are returning it.
    Any problems with this?
  • by trudyscousin (258684) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @01:53PM (#13933671)
    Mr. Thomas Hesse
    President, Global Digital Business
    Sony BMG Music Entertainment Company
    550 Madison Ave.
    New York, NY 10022-3211

    I wrote this guy last summer after reading a piece in the New York Times featuring him discussing Sony's oh-so-wunnerful SunnComm copy protection. I can't locate the original NYT article, but this one [timesleader.com] says almost exactly the same thing.

    I didn't receive a reply. I thought I stood a good chance of receiving one since I couched my language in civil terms and didn't call him a pig fucker. So, see what works for you.

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