Sony: Why care about rootkits?
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Thread: Sony: Why care about rootkits?

  1. #1
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    Sony: Why care about rootkits?

    I apologize if this has been posted before...there's been so much posted on this subject it's hard to keep up...

    'Most people don't even know what a rootkit is so why should they care about it?' says a SonyBMG executive
    Great attitude eh?!!

    A senior SonyBMG executive has hit back at the criticism surrounding the company's use of a digital rights management (DRM) technology on a music CD.

    Thomas Hesse, the president of SonyBMG's global digital business division, said in a radio interview last week that its use of rootkits is not an issue to the everyday user."Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" he said in the interview with radio company NPR.

    The copy-restriction software is hidden so that music pirates cannot find and remove it, according to Hesse. "This is purely about restricting the ability to burn MP3 files in an unprotected manner," he said.

    Although Sony does not appear to understand why people are concerned about the use of rootkits, the EMI Group has tried to distance itself from the controversy by stating that it does not use rootkits on its own products.

    "EMI is not using any software that hides traces of the program. There is no 'rootkit' behaviour and there are no processes left running in the background," an EMI spokesman said last week
    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020330,39236480,00.htm
    Sony: Why care about rootkits? - ZDNet UK News

  2. #2
    AO Senior Cow-beller
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    Sony: Rootkits Are Okay, Because No One Knows What They Are

    These guys at SonyBMG/First4Internet really dont get it. Too bad they are so big that they can just shrug stuff like this off, and if their popularity goes too low, they simply drop the price of the PSP by $10USD and they are 'King of the World' again.
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
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  3. #3
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    Looks like there could be some smelly stuff on the way to a fan some where.

    Interesting that CA are the first antispyware/AV vendor, AFIAK, to classify this rootkit as malware.

    From here: http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Enterta.../News/Q7P7L4N2
    Computer Associates is the latest to wade into the growing controversy over Sony's efforts to curb theft and illegal pirating of its music.In Europe Police have been called in to investigate Sony's actions.
    <edited to clarify line two>
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  4. #4
    AOs Resident Troll
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    Funny that EMI has that stance...

    A friend of mine just bought the new KT Tunstall cd...(emi)

    and it has protection on it...he said when he copied the cd to his hard drive...it stated something about him only being able to copy the disc 3 times....

    Kinda makes you wonder what emi threw on his hardrive

    I sent im some links in regards to the sony *protection*

    I would love to snoop his machine and try and gleen whats going on??

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    I really don't see how this stuff is supposed to help prevent piracy?

    1. Professionals have the skills and equipment to easily circumvent it?
    2. Most people couldn't be bothered?
    3. Those who are, should be able to get round it?

    For example, I have this device that lets me connect my VCR/DVD/CD/Stereo to my computer.........an "audio/video "grabber". I don't believe that this software can detect a connection to my computer if I insert the media into a regular playing device, so all I would have to do is re-record it?

    I must admit that I have not tried it, but the concept sounds feasible enough?............AFAIK Sony haven't implemented this in the UK.

    It probably doesn't work with Linux or OSX either?

    It almost looks like some stupid PR stunt to placate stockholders.



    EDIT: Morgana~

    I will have to try to get hold of one................make three copies then wipe, reformat and reinstall................that could be quite an interesting little test?

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    I'm just going to throw something out here...


    Howabout while running Linux.. you rip an iso of the disc...


    Wouldn't that eliminate any chance of the rootkit working... or even disable autorun in Windows?

  7. #7
    AO Senior Cow-beller
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    Disabling autorun is the stock answer for avoiding this "feature". It comes down to the old usability vs. security question.

    The eye-patch-and-scally-wag part of me says ***** 'em and get a copy of the MP3's from bit torrent. The boring and PC part of me says go with linux to make your fair use copies there, or in a virtual system, or through some other method.

    Here's where I think Sony might come into the greatest potential liability though...consider:
    I have a tivo/cd/dvd/homestereo system. I buy a new 'protected' CD, and put it in my fancy system to listen to it, as intended, on a home stereo system. The embedded linux (or horrors that be, embedded windows) operating system mounts the CD, fires it up...and is tripped up by the autorun malware crap. What if it crashes my system? What if it ****s my system to the point that I have to invole a warranty for repairs, or pay for support out of pocket? They could claim some "there's a warning label on the CD case that this CD media is only intended to be played in CD players that are stand alone or stereo component players, NOT on a computer/pc/mac or tivo system", but the problem with that is there have never been a precedent of having to read and agree to a EULA before using a CD.

    It's using a technological restriction to try and modify a human behavior. That doesn't always work as intended, and is often more costly than expected.
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job. --Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
    "...people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right." - Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  8. #8
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    You know the whole irony of the situation is.....

    I recommended KT Tunstall....cause I heard the song off a burned cd a friend gave me

    I am going out this weekend to purchase the cd....

    Cause I googled the song...found out about the artist...and I was intrigued

    Personally...I buy cds (it supports the artist and alot of my friends in the record business .although the artist gets a VERY small percentage)

    And I like good recordings...cause I have REAL stereo systems in my home and vehicles....and I cant stand bad recordings...

    So if I like the artist...I buy the cd

    But I was so taken with this *new to me* artist..I started talking about her...and one of the people I talked to..(audiophile)...went out an bought the cd...and copied it to his hardrive...hence the knowledge of the EMI protection.

    Its like the record companies are shooting themselves in the foot

    And..from my previous career in the music businesss.....I used to attend a music seminar every year.....and around 1992 the record companies were warned that this was going to happen....one of the speakers said

    "Its like trying to sell coke without the bottle"

    So what did the record companies do????

    They stopped signing and developing new artists...only going for acts that already had a recording in the can.....AND jacked the price of CDs

    My dilema is.....I have purchased recordings from vinyl to 8 track to cassette to cd....(being the *old fart* that I am)

    So I have purchased the copyright several times.......and what about the stolen\lost or damaged cds....do they replace them?

    No...guess I should have a backup

    Dont get me started.......Im into the wine

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cemetric's Avatar
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    Funny that EMI has that stance...

    A friend of mine just bought the new KT Tunstall cd...(emi)

    and it has protection on it...he said when he copied the cd to his hard drive...it stated something about him only being able to copy the disc 3 times....

    Kinda makes you wonder what emi threw on his hardrive

    I sent im some links in regards to the sony *protection*

    I would love to snoop his machine and try and gleen whats going on??

    MLF
    Well ..according to this article they don't use rootkits ..but ...
    "The content-protection software that we're using can be easily uninstalled with a standard uninstaller that comes on the disc. EMI is not using any software that hides traces of the program. There is no 'rootkit' behavior, and there are no processes left running in the background," said an EMI spokesman in a statement.
    [rant]
    Mmm ok so no rootkits, but something gets installed without me first approving the install...ok I can live with that ...NOT! If I buy a CD (pay too much for it as it is) I'm not buying the piece of crap software that can ruin my pc and which hardly lets me take a copy of the this CD I payed (again too much) for to be sure I don't accidentally scratch the CD in my car or something...
    [/rant]

    C.
    Back when I was a boy, we carved our own IC's out of wood.

  10. #10
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    Note: The protective buffer resides on top of most commercial CDs......on burned media the top layer is almost non-existent. You can almost always repair a CD with scratches to its plastic bottom through a grind buff.

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