How much do you think Sony BMG dislikes Alex Halderman? Halderman, a graduate student working under Ed Felten at Princeton, became quite well known to the recording industry two years ago after publicizing how the copy protection scheme being used by what was then just BMG, supplied by SunnComm, could be defeated by holding down the shift key as you inserted the disc. This wasn't a high tech solution. The software needed to run to be installed, and it would run automatically if you had autorun enabled, which most people do. Holding down the shift key just overrides autorun. Nothing special -- but Halderman made sure that blocked the copy protection and (more importantly) got that information out. That eventually meant that SunnComm even thought about suing Halderman for publishing a way to circumvent copyright protection, in violation of the DMCA. After realizing how stupid this idea was, SunnComm backed down on the lawsuit threats, leaving Halderman and Felten (who has been threatened with plenty of lawsuits himself) to continue their work. And, in the last couple of weeks, the two of them have been pretty damn busy investigating the whole Sony rootkit thing. Their big find, earlier this week, was how the uninstaller for the rootkit opened up new security holes. The rootkit, though, comes from First4Internet, not SunnComm. Sony BMG still does use SunnComm's copy protection on other CDs, and over the weekend Halderman pointed out why SunnComm's technology might not be a rootkit, but certainly fit the definition of spyware. To make things even better, Halderman has just published another post noting that SunnComm's uninstaller is just as bad as the XCP uninstaller for the rootkit. In other words, if you've used SunnComm's uninstaller to get rid of their copy protection, you've left your computer incredibly vulnerable to malicious attacks. Yes, the saga continues...
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- UK Retailer Goes Legal After Shipping PS Vitas To Customers Who Just Bought A Game
- Public Service Commission Orders Verizon To Cough Up Cost Data On Its New York Copper Lines
- Meet The Dedicated Fan Who Makes Your Broken PC Games Work
- FBI Bungles Malware Attempt As Courts Begin To Question Its Legality
- Crowdfunded Prize For Open Source Jailbreaking iOS7 To Improve Accessibility