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Friday, November 04, 2005

Sony music CD's install Rootkits!

Sony's music arm has been accused of using the tactics of virus writers to stop its CDs being illegally copied.

One copy protection system analysed by coder Mark Russinovich uses cloaked files to hide deep inside Windows.

The difficult uninstallation process left Mr Russinovich saying that Sony's anti-piracy efforts had gone 'too far'.

In response to criticism, Sony BMG said it would provide tools to users and security firms that would reveal the hidden files

Mr Russinovich, a renowned Windows programming expert, came across the Sony BMG anti-piracy system when performing a scan of his computer with a utility he co-created that spots so-called rootkits.

Rootkits are starting to be used by a small number of computer virus writers because they allow malicious code to be inserted deep inside the Windows operating system, meaning that it will not be spotted by most anti-virus scanners.

Rootkits are used to hide malicious software once it is installed and ensure it is not found and removed by anti-virus programs

After extensive analysis Mr Russinovich realised that the "cloaked" software had been installed when he first listened to the CD album Get Right With the Man CD by country rockers Van Zant.

F-Secure - About Rootkits


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