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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sony : Malware Ahoy!

As soon as I came across this brilliant revelation, I wrote,not only had Sony put software on his system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall. Worse, most users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files. While the media industry’s right to use copy protection mechanisms to prevent illegal copying is legal,based on what Mark has presented this is a clear case of Sony taking DRM too far. Now, few weeks after the incident,The Register writes that Sony has again been outed for including questionable software on its music CDs, after it emerged a security vulnerability in content protection software shipped on some of its disks could allow consumers’ PCs to be hijacked. According to the EFF, the vulnerability centres on a file folder installed by the MediaMax software shipped on some Sony CDs, “that could allow malicious third parties who have localized, lower-privilege access to gain control over a consumer’s computer running the Windows operating system.” It is a very concerting issue – given the fact that the EFF claims 30 other labels use this software means the big labels either do not realize the harm they are causing by distributing malware or they do not believe they are liable. Its hightime that initiatives like this one from Intel become commonplace. Quite scary indeed - as I wrote earlier, the most important thing for services and users of services to realize is that trust is an extremely valuable commodity that is hard won and easily lost.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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