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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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

    SV, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 2:20am

    No Subject Given

    They're just settings the grounds for the kinda DRM we'll see in BluRay.

    Tons of crap we have no clue about.


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

    z0idberg, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 2:36am

    what the....?

    Looks like Sony either:

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


    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?"


    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.


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

    LaidLaw, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 3:24am

    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.


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

    Music Sucks, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 3:34am

    Its their own fault...

    What, are people living under rocks these days??

    Who is stupid enough to:
    1. Buy a "music disk" from Sony
    2. Insert it into their computer.

    Servers them right.


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

    amritanshu, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 3:56am

    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 :P no sir you cant play BRitney(from TIME) after Eminem from (SONY) :))


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

    Jim Beam, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 4:21am

    It's a Sony

    About what I'd expect from a company that pulls all support from their computers when the warranty runs out. You can't even download drivers after the warranty. Never buying another Sony product.


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

    giafly, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 4:36am

    He was stroking a white cat

    ...while he gave the interview. That Sony Exec?


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

    Chris H, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 5:14am

    Re: It's a Sony

    >Jim Beam< br>
    Oh man... tell me you're kidding?


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

    Mudman, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 6:12am

    Re: whiskey tango foxtrot!

    wouldn't this mean that sony violated the DMCA by messing with M$-owned binaries? c'mon, we gotta do better than the italians!


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

    WollyHood, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 6:17am

    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://blogs.washingtonpost.com/security fix/2005/11/sony_raids_hack.html
    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/79450/sony-drm-burrows-into-rootkit-code .html
    For a very basic audio discussion on the cracker rootkit technology used:
    Additional technical information on rootkit technology can be linked to from:
    http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005 /10/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights.html
    Italian lawsuit press release:
    Cordially Yours,


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

    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 8:18am

    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.


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

    Tim Howland, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 8:52am

    Why is Amazon still selling this product?

    Why is Amazon still selling this? Are they dying to be co-defendants in a class action lawsuit?

    It's clearly defective merchandise... I mean, hell, it can blow up your computer real good- Amazon clearly knows about the scandal here- what are they thinking?


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

    Some Random Dude, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 9:17am

    Re: Why is Amazon still selling this product?

    The message is clear: Sony is trying to commit harikiri in the market place.

    Help them accomplish their goal by boycotting all Sony products.


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

    anon, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 9:17am

    Re: It's a Sony

    Yes you can. It's called esupport.sony.com type in your model number with no dashes. Click on drivers and suppor, everything, updates, or os migration! :)


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

    Chris, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 9:38am

    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!!!!


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

    giafly, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 9:47am

    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


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

    Dean Stauffer, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 9:56am

    Sony's S*&t

    I am glad to see that in print because I thought I was having trouble hearing when I heard Sony's statement on NPR. Since when is not knowing what something is a reason to not worry about it. I don't understand many things that my doctor tells me, but that doesn't mean I don't worry about it. Way to go Sony!


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

    Slapp1, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 10:24am

    Re: Turning the Rootkit against Sony

    Thats awesome! I will have to try that one when I get home from work!


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

    Nullpo, Nov 9th, 2005 @ 5:53am


    Gate keeper otsukare. Kaigaidemo mewaku kakerunjanaiyo.


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

    worldscolide, Nov 9th, 2005 @ 7:36pm

    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!!!


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

    vicky, Dec 4th, 2006 @ 6:35am


    i think they should have alot more info on music as alot of girl and boy like music but no one ever takes them up on it. so i think they should have more sites on music.


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

    george, Aug 28th, 2007 @ 1:33pm




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

    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

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

    fodder99 (profile), Jun 30th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Sony have given up making TVs too, because they cannot compete with the likes of samaung.


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

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