Sony Done Really Messed up this time (W.T.F #2)

From time to time, I will bring up info I think is of important and/or entertaining value because that is what I do. There will be links to other places that I would urge be follwed to get the full story. That being said, let’s start with this…

If you haven’t heard already (if you are a geek, you would anyway), Sony has put potentially dangerous software on some of their audio CD’s within the last month. I submit to you these articles:

Short version: DRM this, Sony
Long version: Sony CD protection sparks security concerns

Basically, the story is this. In Sony’s bid to stop pirating, they had a third party developer put in a different type of copy protection on their audio CD’s(Sony/BMG is one of the big 3 or4 in the music biz). Well, this copy protection would put what is called a RootKit on you computer, potentially letting others do bad things on or with your computer. A Rootkit is a program, or set of programs, that are undetectable to you and your computer that can be used to take over said computer. In Sony’s case, it was supposed monitor things like how many times you played Sony’s CD in the computer. It also “called home” for whatever reasons. In other words, with an active internet connection, it would tell Sony what was being done with that CD.

WHAT??

Now before you go throwing away your CD’s, let me explain how it worked and what CD’s are affected. It goes like this. If you bought a Sony/BMG CD within the last, i’d say, month or two (it hasn’t been said when they started doing this that I know of), and there are certain things on the CD case, then you might have one of the CD’s in question. Now, if you don’t play CD’s on your PC, then you are good. Have you ever played a CD in your PC and the first thing that happens is that a program comes up with an install for a player that is on the CD. Well, if you let it install, then you have installed the Rootkit also. Only on SONY/BMG CDs, though. If your PC doesn’t let CD’s run automatically, you are in good shape. And by the way, the EULA(that long stretch of legalese that everyone just says OK to before you install a program on your computer) says nothing about it. So even if you are one to read it(I’d like to meet you), you wouldn’t know it. So what are the CD’s and how do you know if that is that one? Well go check out this article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation(EFF) website (Don’t worry they are consumer activists. The good guys).

Are You Infected by Sony-BMG’s Rootkit?

What’s being done about this?

Well, lawsuit’s are being thrown, people are rightly pissed. Sony did put a patch on it’s website, but supposedly it does nothing but makes the invisible parts visble. It doesn’t get rid of it. And guess what if you could, it is pretty much against the law according the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(DMCA), but that’s another story. Never fear, Microsoft’s on it, believe it or not:

Microsoft will wipe Sony’s ‘rootkit’

Oh, and if you just want to disable Autorun on your PC, here is how(I got you covered):
Enable/Disable Autorun

Make sure you pass this along. Any questions? You know where to send them.

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