Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far
Last week when I was testing the latest version of RootkitRevealer (RKR) I ran a scan on one of my systems and was shocked to see evidence of a rootkit. 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
Yesterday, Sysinternals's Mark Russinovich posted an excellent analysis of a CD copy protection system called XCP2. This scheme, created by British-based First4Internet, has been deployed on many Sony/BMG albums released in the last six months. Like the SunnComm MediaMax system that I wrote about in 2003, XCP2 uses an "active" software-based approach in an attempt to stifle ripping and copying. The first time an XCP2-protected CD is inserted into a Windows system, the Windows Autorun feature launches an installer, which copies a small piece of software onto the computer. From then on, if the user attempts to copy or rip a protected CD, the software replaces the music with static.