Sony: Rootkits Are Okay, Because No One Knows What They Are

from the did-he-actually-say-that? dept

Sony’s response to the whole rootkit fiasco has been anything but reassuring — which is probably why they’re facing a series of lawsuits about the matter. However, the folks over at Digg have highlighted what might be the single most ridiculous statement on the matter from a Sony executive during an NPR interview about the matter. After taking issue with anyone using the terms “spyware, malware or rootkit,” Thomas Hesse, President of Sony’s Global Digital Business, literally says: “Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?” Ah, right. Because people don’t know about this technology that was installed without proper notification, which hides things on their computers, which can be misused by those with malicious intent to hide more software on their computers potentially causing all sorts of damage… they have nothing at all to worry about. This goes beyond the “trust us” response they were originally stating to the unfathomable rationale that what you don’t know about can’t possibly hurt you.


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Comments on “Sony: Rootkits Are Okay, Because No One Knows What They Are”

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24 Comments
z0idberg says:

what the....?

Looks like Sony either:

a) didnt think this issue was important enough to come up with a real escuse

or

b) in their rush to release a statement to try and nip this in the bud that was the best they could come up with.

“Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?”

riiiggghhttt….

If I didnt know what a full frontal lobotomy was and someone decided to give me one without bothering to tell me about it before hand I am pretty sure I would care about it.

LaidLaw says:

No Subject Given

There was this quote from Michael Jackson about the head of Sony Music being evil (http://www.aptnlibrary.com/cent_m_jackson_sony.html) and while the person in the context of the quote is no longer at Sony (http://www.writenews.com/2003/011003_sony_mottola.htm), I can’t help but think, for all of his weaknesses (insert dirty joke here), maybe Jacko was only trying to expose Sony and its associations with the devil.

amritanshu says:

whiskey tango foxtrot!

some PPL dont know about rootkits but those who are writing them know that besides making your computer vulnerable, it will make it more prone to crash and unstable. Rootkits are hacks the techniques applied are ‘not’ recommended by M$ and it might crash on certain configurations where syscall patching is not safe.
The best part would be when all DRM are implemented as rootkit SONY wuldnt work with TIMES ๐Ÿ˜› no sir you cant play BRitney(from TIME) after Eminem from (SONY) :))

WollyHood says:

Hope I Am Not The Only One

I hope I am not the only one who did this already, but did anyone else google the contact information for class action law practices and send them a note on this opportunity?
If you want to help alert some lawyers search on keywords like “class action practice” and “consumer rights”. Hunt around until you find the email addresses and then send them a note like this boilerplate:
I recently became aware of the use of rootkit technologies, technologies typically used by system crackers and malfeasants, by Sony BMG to install user PCs with antipiracy software. Doing this introduces an almost undetectable but very serious security flaw on users PCs. This flaw is serious enough to make antivirus software and most security software unable to detect this system compromise. Further, it is done at such a low level within the Windows operating system that any defect in the construction of the software will translate to system instability on the part of the end user.
While I am not directly affected nor have any standing in this matter I thought this might be of interest to a lawyer experienced in class action litigation. The highly probable outcome of system instability and security vulnerability to the very sizeable population of Sony BMG CD purchasers seems a textbook example where class action law should come into play. While a group in Italy has filed suit against Sony BMG no one in the US has, to the best of my knowledge.
For further information on what is known of the Sony BMG compromise:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4413856.stm
http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/11/sony_raids_hack.html
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/79450/sony-drm-burrows-into-rootkit-code.html
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/02/1421250&tid=233&tid=17
For a very basic audio discussion on the cracker rootkit technology used:
http://media.grc.com/sn/SN-009.mp3
Additional technical information on rootkit technology can be linked to from:
http://www.grc.com/sn/notes-009.htm
http://www.rootkit.com/
http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/10/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights.html
Italian lawsuit press release:
http://www.alcei.org/index.php/archives/106
Cordially Yours,

Anonymous Coward says:

Improve the situation Stop buying Sony CDs and p

When I was a kid – i was trilled to have a Sony tape recorder. Sony was the best brand name.

Stop buying Sony products and they will get the message that custumers do care.

Now I see that Samsung MP3 players seem to be
liked better than Sony.
i.e. Samsung have now started producing better (quality and value) products. WATCH OUT SONY.
See also mercola.com – he also mentioned Samsung

Sony protection scheme is like a virus.

I think that if people will stop buying Sony
music – as the effects of the rootkid messes there PC ans cost the user time.
This will have the proper market effect.
Sony can keep doing what they are doing and
musicians who issue material under the Sony label will
have lower sales.
Remember the magic of the internet
it allows costomers to make better decision (with better inforamtion) and
use their(converting the information to action) money to tell the companies who are doing it better by buying their products.

The value of this blog is that is read by knowledgable people.
It helpts good ideas propogate quickly so that
a good new idea spreads fast, rewarding those businesses who satisify the customers.
It also allows bad idea to be stopped.

br>How about that for democracy in action

vote with your wallet –
quickly using your money
to improve the world.

Chris (user link) says:

omfg sony

wtf, sony thinks that john q public is a retard or somthing? i mean geez hmmm lets think about it, how many people burn cds and dont know what a root kit is, i feel that this is an invasion of privacy and the goverment should put a stop to it, legally you are allowed to make one copy of your cd(for backup purposes) and if sony is making it so you cant even back it up. i feel the “common” people need to definatly boycott sony and watch them wither!!!!

giafly says:

Turning the Rootkit against Sony

“try to rename your favourite ripping software as $sys$whatever.exe and then run it again. You’ll notice that the DRM system can no longer detect it, and thus you’ll get good copy of the track you try to rip instead of one filled with noise. Thats just hilarious. I think everyone should simply not worry about removing the rootkit, as this is too difficult, and then just do at Matti says, and use the rootkit to make your favorite ripping tool immune to the DRM.”
Posted by Brad Green on Mark’s SYsinternals Blog

worldscolide (profile) says:

Sad. Sad. Sad.

i guess what sony dosn’t realize is the fact that most of us that know how to use the computer properly have the auto play feature disabled on our CD Drives, making it very hard for the cd to “Install” anything with out us knowing. It’s horrifying to know that sony, a company that i once respected, is doing this stuff. I guess that they don’t want us to protect our investments. Of course this is why the machine that i use to rip CD’s is a Linux box, this way i don’t even have to deal with it. Long Live LINUX!!!

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