Feeds

Sony suspends rootkit DRM

No recall

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Sony BMG has said it will suspend production of audio 'CDs' that use XCP, the rootkit-style DRM developed by British company First4Internet Ltd. However the music giant refused to apologize for the software, which exposes PCs to malware and which can disable the PC's CD drive when users try to remove the software.

Sony also declined to follow EMI's example in September and recall CDs already in the retail channels.

Around 20 CDs use XCP, which has been on the market since April. (The EFF has a list, here).

But since a security website drew attention to implications of XCP last week, Sony has been deluged with complaints, prompting lawsuits in California and Italy.

"We are aware that a computer virus is circulating that may affect computers with XCP content protection software," Sony said in a statement. "Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, Sony BMG is temporarily suspending the manufacture of CDs containing XCP technology. We also intend to re-examine all aspects of our content protection initiative to be sure that it continues to meet our goals of security and ease of consumer use."

Sony may rue the wave of consumer outrage, and the subsequent lawsuits. But it may also note that the scandal took more than six months to surface.

And the music publisher isn't exactly rushing to make amends. Sony's unfortunately worded phrase "ease of consumer use" reminds us that while the stealth DRM software installs itself without permission (the click-through statement fails to inform of the user of its true nature), uninstalling it requires the CD buyer to request permission from Sony via a web form. So it's hard to take Sony BMG's assurances seriously.

You can read Sony's statement here. Symantec has posted an advisory and removal tool here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.