Virus Writers Take Advantage Of Sony's Rootkit
from the thanks! dept
As if things weren't bad enough with Sony's lovely rootkit DRM, what with it acting like spyware and everything, now virus writers are using it to cover up their work -- just as was earlier predicted. The Sony software conceals filenames that start with "$sys$", so a new variant of a trojan simply uses a similarly named file that becomes completely invisible on computers infected with the Sony rootkit. The Security Fix blog of The Washington Post points out a quote from Sony CEO Howard Stringer, made four years ago: "Right now it would be possible for us, and I've often thought it would cheer me up to do it, you could dispatch a virus to anybody whose files contain us or Columbia records and make them listen to four hours of Yanni ... but in the end we're going to have to get serious about encryption and digital-rights management and watermarking." In light of that, and other efforts, like trying to get lawmakers to give record labels the right to destroy the computers of people that file-share, Sony's rootkit isn't surprising at all. But even though people may not know exactly what a rootkit is, they're beginning to understand that Sony's CDs can do some nasty stuff. The company's original "trust us, it's okay" defense was worn thin, and consumers' distrust of Sony could have long-term effects on its business.