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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Forget Copyright Infringement – Its Operating System Infringement.

I came across this interesting investigation from a Windows user who found a rootkit on his system. Systematic investigation unearthed that it had been installed by Sony when he had played the digitally protected music on a CD he had bought (Get Right With The Man bu Van Zant). Going by the article, it appears to me that Sony seems to think that techniques used by hackers and crackers are fit enough to take protecting its legal copyright – The technique used by Sony is clearly a flagrant violation of privacy in many ways.
Some technical background information - Rootkits are cloaking technologies that hide files, Registry keys, and other system objects from diagnostic and security software, and they are usually employed by malware attempting to keep their implementation hidden. Rootkits that hide files, directories and Registry keys can either execute in user mode by patching Windows APIs in each process that applications use to access those objects, or in kernel mode by intercepting the associated kernel-mode APIs.Mark, the author of the article conclusively finds that the rootkit and its associated files were related to the First 4 Internet DRM software Sony ships on its CDs. After reading Mark’s classic detection process, I agree with him that 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.

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