Maybe Sony's Strategy Is To Convince You To Never Use A CD In A Computer

from the oh,-sorry-about-that dept

The Sony rootkit saga continues. While the company released a patch that only took off the cloaking ability, but didn't actually help uninstall the software they surreptitiously installed, it seems that there are plenty of other problems with the "patch" as well. Ed Felten noted yesterday that there's a lot of other stuff in the patch, which Sony doesn't bother to tell anyone about. And, obviously, at this point, hearing Sony say "trust us, it's fine" isn't particularly reassuring. On top of that, the original researcher who discovered the rootkit has found that the patch could crash Windows on some computers. The chances are apparently pretty small, but they're there. The other thing he discovered is that, once again just like spyware products, the copy protection phones home to Sony, potentially passing on information, such as your IP address. To be fair, it doesn't look like it's doing anything bad when it phones home (just checking for updated lyrics and album art), but Sony certainly doesn't reveal anywhere that this action is happening, which should only raise more questions about why anyone should ever feel safe using a SonyBMG CD again. Of course, maybe that's the point. The record labels have regretted for years that CDs now play on computers (it was an afterthought to them), because that's what opened up this whole file sharing concept in the first place -- and, so now they're trying to make people think that CDs don't belong in your CD-ROM drive, and delivering sneaky malware might just be one way to get that point across.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 7:03pm

    No Subject Given

    Wouldn't SONY be guilty of the same crimes the FBI just arrested the "Botmaster" for?

     

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  2.  
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    crytsal_tech, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 8:11pm

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    more than likely.. just rip the music in linux and copy to windows and poof drm free music. any linux will do just install the bare min on an old computer and rip to it or straight to your network drive share with a wireless or crossover. you don't need a powerful computer to run linux and rip cds. hell you could use unix or mac in some cases.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Stinky Old Fart, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 10:53pm

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    That is right, every body has the skills to install linux, and it is just so easy on an old computer. Good thing everybody has that second box laying around to do that with.

    hhmmm. I think I'm going to call my broker and invest in KVM switches... Those are going to be HOT this Christmas

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Happy user, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 11:27pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    i guess playing CDs at work is out of the question, as it may get you fired for installing "unauthorised software".

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Zaecas, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 11:34pm

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    Fine then, become the slave to Sony whims, as you well should.

    Propose solutions instead of bicker about others' ideas.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Jesse McNelis, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 2:09am

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    I believe a more simple solution is to disable auto-run on your cd drive.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 2:10am

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    Hah. Nah, man, set up your main box as a dual-boot system. That's how my mom plays Doom 3 without having to shell out for XP.

    No KVMs required. And yeah, actually, installation can be very easy. Some of them will do the repartitioning for you, safely, and have a 'minimal' option; others are just a CD you boot with, and require no install at all.

    There are options before you, if you'll let yourself see them.

    Having said that, I do have a whack of old stuff here, and a KVM, so that's what I'll be using, but only because I develop on Linux and had the machine set up already.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 2:13am

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    Oh Yeah. My mom just turned 57, and she manages an SPCA. She's just barely more computer-literate than Joe Sixpack, and only because she likes FPS games .. and solitaire.

    If she can do it, you really have no excuse, now, do you?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Joe snuffy, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 7:53am

    No Subject Given

    The Problem is that Sony is forcing us to work around their software. That shouldn't happen to begin with. I spend all day working on computers. I don't like to go home a have to work on mine as well. Especially if it just so I can listen to a CD.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Analogue man, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 9:51am

    No Subject Given

    The solution is very simple. Throw aways all your CDs and just listen to vinyl. They sound better anyways.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 9:52am

    Re: No Subject Given--Plus workaround for you lame

    Oooooor if you are just going to use it to rip --- vmware anyone?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    John, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 11:46am

    Sony is killing themselves

    I believe what everybody is missing here, that seems kind of strange to me, is that sony is basicly penalizing everyone who legitimately buys a SonyBMG CD. Hence, they are actually demanding that their customers steal from them.

    Email users are trained to not open attachments from people they don't know. Now, music lovers will be trained to download songs from Sony's catalog of artists instead of buying the cds and inflicting harm on their PC.

     

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  13.  
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    Betamax, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 11:49am

    No Subject Given

    Hit them where it HURTS. The only way to get through to companies is by giving them a nice punch to the wallet. Write them emails and tell them you're not buying their new ps3 or anything else they might put out. Even if it's not true, they don't know that. Thousands of angry customers makes for a miserable business

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    pissmonkey, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 1:00pm

    Stop buying CDs

    Just stop buying Sony CDs and download the music from file-share networks, that will save you having to clean up Sony software on your system.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Joshua Moore, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 1:53pm

    comment on sony spyware

    This is just a question, I have no experience with this, so I'd like to know how this works, what it is. Does it install only if you click a button saying "trust me, it's ok to install me"? Or is it enough to insert the cd into the rom drive? If that is the case, is there a way you can tell windows never to install anything from CDs, except for if you approve of it? If there is such a way, could you post how that is done, as a call of protest?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Adrian Cobon, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 4:28pm

    Re: comment on sony spyware

    I will be blunt - It is possible for a big company like SONY to work out a contract with Microsoft so that if you load the CD in with Windows Media Player the software will install automatically. So like everyone was saying up above - USE LINUX, or if you must use windows use a utility that is not developed by microsoft directly to listen to it.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Joe Bob, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 7:59pm

    Re: comment on sony spyware

    It starts on its own, the same way any software cd inserted in your cd drive does. From the sounds of it, no prompts, just installs. Disabling autorun

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    crystal_tech, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 9:58pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    they do now

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    solak, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 10:16pm

    Re: comment on sony spyware

    You could try to remember to hold down the shift key to disable autorun every single time you insert a CD; but that still requires trusting Microsoft to not have a bypass coded for Sony discs. I'm just going to purchase zero Sony discs, at least until they stop doing this.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 11:15pm

    Re: comment on sony spyware

    Actually, it might be simpler than that, the next upgrade/update of XP or Longhorn (whichever comes first) will include the new Sony DRM driver.

    No need to sneak it in and put in measures to prevent its removal...

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Martyn Compton, Nov 6th, 2005 @ 4:29am

    why should they need to anyway?

    i dont get why companys like sony bother with this anyway surely after we buy a cd it is our property to do as we please, we shouldnt really have to work around these damn DRMs if i want to listen to mp3s of my CDs because i dont want to have to insert a cd every time i want to listen to some music and whant a shuffle setup for every song i have ever owned then i should damn well be able to!!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    slap maxwell, Nov 6th, 2005 @ 10:24am

    Re: Sony is killing themselves

    Sony is penalising themselves, plain and simple. They aren't hurting me, since I'll just refuse to do business with them (and likely any of their subsidiaries where possible) and actually seek out illegal downloads of Sony material. Why not? If they can behave in criminal behaviour, so can I....

    In fact, this weekend I purchased a competitor's Plasma TV over a Sony, just in principle. Screw 'em.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Jacob Lee, Nov 6th, 2005 @ 2:22pm

    iTUNES

    Hey if its not on iTunes I don't bother. There are so many good podcasts and free content out there who needs sony's music anyways?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Keyser Soze, Nov 6th, 2005 @ 2:47pm

    Class action?

    This action by Sony (and Microsoft to a lesser extent) is a complete violation of privacy. Hackers have been arrested for doing a lot less. Instead of jumping through hoops, it is time to organize a class action lawsuit. That will get those millionaire shareholders to back down on their ridiculous crusade against the consumer.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Dan, Nov 6th, 2005 @ 4:09pm

    lol!!!!!!!!!

    i put a cd into my cdrom drive last week... windows instillation.
    2 hours later, my comp starts making a poping noise, and i hear a loud shattering crack... i open my cd rom drive and to my dismay, the cd is no longer whole, but has been replaced with 100000 million little plastic peices... i found it rather amusing

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Haggie, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 10:52am

    What?

    They still make music CDs? Do you get a buggy whip with each music CD you purchase?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Martyn Compton, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Class action?

    Who wants to start an E-Mail Forwarding Campaign here??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Me, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 9:49am

    No Subject Given

    Maybe this is a ploy to push people toward using Sony's memory sticks...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    TP, Nov 18th, 2005 @ 6:01pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Yes--you are spot on. Sony has corrupted the concept of a meeting of minds by a willing buyer and and a willing seller. While hiding behind entertainment's skirts they are selling the public a snake-oil f***ing.

    Shame on them, but shame on us for thinking we are better if we employ a "work-around" that makes our property useable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    the devil, Nov 29th, 2005 @ 5:11am

    thats why..

    thats why i dont buy Sony music..i download it instead..and dont pay for it..hahahahahahaha.

    idiots.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Kerry, Feb 25th, 2006 @ 5:34pm

    Re: comment on sony spyware

    Cause linux sucks and always will be if it were so good why isn't the cp manufatures putting it in their product?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Last Action Governor, Jul 1st, 2006 @ 12:35pm

    SECRET CONSUMER CONTROL

    ''ridiculous crusade against the consumer.''
    Actually it's not a crusade against us......

    Its a war waged to CONTROL the consumer. A far worse and more sinister campaign.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Adrian Cobon, Nov 23rd, 2006 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: comment on sony spyware

    Because, silly, Microsoft was at the right spot at the right time. They make a vaporware product that cannot be trusted to be secure even a small fraction of the time. My first PC, a Windows XP Home, had first gone online the day before a major worm had hit the net. My anti-virus software could not handle it, so my computer was trashed. Mind you, I was using a limited user account, so it should not have been possible if Microsoft had designed its system properly. Linux, while some may claim only appears invulnerable, is actually better than Windows on the security front. If you are not Root, forget about it. Microsoft bid lower than all existing competitors for the initial contract for their OS, and used this advantage to force themselves upon the OEM industry ever since. BTW, Some companies are offering a linux alternative. Dell anyone?

    If Linux sucks then obviously you are not mature enough to use it! Either that or not smart enough to spend some time with it and experiment!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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