Sony BMG's Other Spyware
from the make-it-stop dept
Sony BMG's problems with installing bad software just won't die, apparently. While they've temporarily stopped putting out CDs using First4Internet's rootkit technology, Alex Halderman notes that they didn't say anything about their other copy protection software, from SunnComm that has plenty of spyware-like qualities, as well, including installing software without your approval, not including an uninstaller (or including one that doesn't really uninstall everything) and (most importantly) transmitting information about your computer back to SunnComm. Whether or not it opens up security holes for malware writers isn't clear, but given Sony's track record on this, it's hard to feel particularly safe ever inserting one of these copy protected CDs into your computer ever again. And, of course, it's not just Sony BMG to watch out for. We've already seen stories suggesting that Universal Music has the rootkit technology as well (any word on if they're stopping production too?). Of course, the really sinister explanation of all of this is that Sony and others might be (stupidly) pleased as punch about all of this negative publicity, since it might make people stop putting CDs into computers -- something they wish had never been allowed in the first place. All it really means, though, is that people are going to be a lot more wary about buying any CDs with copy protection -- making some people more likely to simply get the songs through file sharing (where, not surprisingly, they're all available, despite the "copy protection").