Don't buy Sony label music!

The title of this post may be a little alarmist but Sony has included Rootkit software on its music CDs recently in an effort to stop users copying music more than three times. The rootkit software was discovered by security expert Mark Russinovich of Sysinternals accidentally and he wrote about it last week. Mark explained:

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.

Since Mark revealed the existence of the rootkit software, Sony has issued an uninstall procedure for the software but as Mark points out this uninstall procedure requires the user to go through by two web forms, an email and an ActiveX control and the uninstaller is locked to a single computer, preventing deployment in a corporation.

Now we learn from an article in the Reg that a virus writer has written a variant of of the Breplibot Trojan which drops files into the Windows directory which are incapable of being found except with very specialised software, if you have the Sony rootkit on your PC.

Bottom line – if you are buying music CDs – check if they have Sony on the label, and if they do, don’t buy them.

I see Microsoft are concerned about rootkit features in CDs from Sony and is evaluating the situation to see if any action needs to be taken

15 thoughts on “Don't buy Sony label music!”

  1. “Bottom line – if you are buying music CDs – check if they have Sony on the label, and if they do, don’t buy them.”

    I personally think it would have more effect if you went out and bought them and returned them the next day mumbling something about a virus. That way the retailer also takes a hit and they will also put Sony under pressure.

  2. Sure, but I think that was part of hostyle’s point Ed – even if you don’t normally buy CDs, you should buy a couple of Sony ones, and then return them saying they may have infected your computer with a virus and you want your money back.

    Handling returns is a very expensive business (I used to work for a reverse logistics company) – this would certainly hit them where it hurts – more especially if it wasn’t CD’s you bought but large TVs, stereos, etc. and said you had heard Sony’s equipment could give your computer a virus (after all, how much more outlandish is that than a Sony CD giving your computer a virus?).

  3. Stuff like this actually puts me off buying CDs :/
    And that’s from a completist/anal-music-fan who actually really likes to have the artwork and proper CD rather than digital files (even though I probably listen to mp3s much more than i do the actual CDs i buy…) The copy protection on EMI discs is frustrating as hell, in that my laptop drive won’t let me rip them for my MP3 player. This latest Sony effort is just another out of touch way to stop a problem that is, pretty much, unstoppable. I think they need to harness it to their advantage instead of taking this ‘stop people making mp3s at all costs’ approach…

  4. CD’s should not be copied – no matter what you say to justify why it is being done. Saying it doesn’t hurt anyone is the same as saying my vote doesn’t matter.
    You can reply but I won’t be back to check your response.

  5. I totally agree with you – don´t buy Sony label Music. Customers spend a lot of Money in Sony´s Music Industrie and this is Sony´s answer….

  6. On the one hand the Labels always say that they missed to get into mp3 and legal downloading. But on the other hand, they do everything that the normal consumer thinks that all labels ignore the customers wishes. they wont sell more music if they all dont change completely.

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