Saturday, November 05, 2005

Sony DRM rootkit code (#15) Sony FAQ Sony DRM rootkit code (#15) Sony FAQ

Following is from the Sony BMG FAQ:
6. I have heard that the protection software is really malware/spyware. Could this be true?

Of course not. The protection software simply acts to prevent unlimited copying and ripping from discs featuring this protection solution. It is otherwise inactive. The software does not collect any personal information nor is it designed to be intrusive to your computer system. Also, the protection components are never installed without the consumer first accepting the End User License Agreement.

If at some point you wish to remove the software from your machine simply contact customer service through this link. You will, though, be unable to use the disc on your computer once you uninstall the components.

Our technology vendors are constantly looking to improve the product as well as respond to any critical software issues found. Please check here for upgrades to address any known issues
Seems somewhat clueless to me. For example:
The protection software simply acts to prevent unlimited copying and ripping from discs featuring this protection solution. It is otherwise inactive. The software does not collect any personal information nor is it designed to be intrusive to your computer system.
Inactive? It seems like scanning all running processes every two seconds and querying for information about their executables (regardless of whether or not a CD is in the drive) is not "inactive". Sony may not be collecting the information that it receives automatically from sites playing its CDs, but it sure apparently receives such.
1. What computer access rights do I need to use this disc on Windows?

You must log on to your computer with Administrator rights or Power User rights to fully use the disc. Normally, you should have Administrator rights, unless you are working in a corporate environment in which case, you'll need to contact your IT department to have them install the software for you.

On Windows XP Home Edition system you will need Administrator rights (typically the default setting) as well, not User rights.
In short, you need Administrator privileges to install the Sony software. This is obvious from what it does, hiding files and registry entries, and installing system call hooks. Not the mark of benign software.

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