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").

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Michael "TheZorch" Haney, 14 Nov 2005 @ 3:21am

    Send A Clear Message...

    Let us all send a clear message to SonyBMG and other companies that use this technology.

    Tell them that if they continue to do this "WE WILL NEVER EVER AGAIN BUY THEIR PRODUCTS".

    Money talks and when their profits plunge due to a lack of sales thay'll either; 1. do the stupid thing and go after P2P more aggressively and ignore the real problem or 2. do the smart thing and quite treating their customers like criminals.

    I don't know about Great Britan (I love BBC shows BTW) or Canada but in the US you are innocent until proven guilty, and the RIAA is assuming EVERYONE is guilty. Thus, they're judging us all without due-process of law.

    The solution to this is crystal clear. I challenge AKK Techdirters (and Slashdotters) to BOYCOTT ALL PRODUCTS WITH DRM and send a clear message to these companies that WE WILL NOT STAND FOR IT ANY MORE!

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

    • identicon
      Joel, 14 Nov 2005 @ 4:25am

      P2P copies

      According to Sony/F4i press releases when they started using the technology: "The primary goal is not to prevent copies of the songs from ending up on illicit, peer-to-peer file-trading networks".

      I guess the only primary goal left then, is to piss off as many customers as possible...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2005 @ 9:41am

    How does it install itself?

    Does disabling autoplay stop the Sony rootkit from installing itself? Or does it somehow manage to run itself just by being in the machine?

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 14 Nov 2005 @ 9:43am

      Re: How does it install itself?

      Yes, disabling autoplay stops the installation, though there is addtional copy protection that stops you from copying those CDs (for the most part).

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

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.