Microsoft to kill Sony DRM
NOVEMBER 16, 2005
MICROSOFT will remove copy-protection software that Sony BMG CDs install on personal computers, deeming it a security risk to PCs running on Windows.
The XCP program, developed by First4internet in Britain and used on music CDs by Sony BMG to restrict copying and sharing, has generated concern amongst computer users, because it acts like virus software and hides deep inside a computer where it leaves the backdoor open for other viruses.
"We have analysed this software and have determined that in order to help protect our customers, we will add a detection and removal signature for the rootkit component of the XCP software to the Windows AntiSpyware beta," Jason Garms, group program manager of the Anti-Malware Technology Team, said on Microsoft's Technet blog.
"Detection and removal of this rootkit component will also appear in Windows Defender when its first public beta is available. We also plan to include this signature in the December monthly update to the Malicious Software Removal Tool," Mr Garms said.
Other computer virus fighters, such as Sophos, have offered a removal kit since last week but stressed it was a tricky operation resembling open heart surgery.
A representative of the United States government last week warned entertainment publishers against using CD and DVD copy protection software that hides inside computers.
"It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property; it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days," said Stewart Baker, the assistant secretary the Department of Homeland Security, at a conference.
The Sony copy-protection software does not install itself on Macintosh computers or ordinary CD and DVD players.