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Friday, July 13, 2007

"It's a Sony"...yeah...!

Last week when my daughter tried to download some music from a rookie site, I explained her how such acts can damage the system. Charily she gave in to my caution but not before extracting my word to get her a safer, branded CD that wouldn’t hurt the system.

I gave her the word alright, but will I be able to keep it after reading this? Imagine a Sony doing it, in its enthusiasm to invoke DRM…!

As painstakingly analyzed by Mark Russinovich on the Sysinternals blog, the CDs secretly plant a rootkit on Windows PCs. As David Berlind explains at ZDNet, “Rootkits generally latch themselves onto the foundation or ‘roots’ of an operating system in a variety of ways that not only prevent their detection, but also their extraction”.

Russinovich concludes: “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.”

I'd rather tell my kid - “Excuse me, hun…this is one word that I’d better not keep. Will make it up to you in some other way....It's a Sony, yeah...” Hoping that she relents !

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