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Sony's DRM woes worsen

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Sony BMG has done a marvellous job of dealing with fallout from secretly installing spyware on consumers' machines - but now unfortunately it has attracted the attention of New York's Attorney General Eliot (the Blitzer) Spitzer.

Spitzer's office found that despite Sony's claim that it had recalled the affected products Sony's dodgy CDs were still available in various New York stores including BestBuy, Circuit City, Sam Goody, WalMart and Virgin Megastore.

Spitzer said: "It is unacceptable that more than three weeks after this serious vulnerability was revealed, these same CDs are still on shelves, during the busiest shopping days of the year." He told consumers to take CDs back to retailers for a refund.

The CDs contain malware which secretly installs itself onto your computer if you play the disc. This could leave your machine more at risk from hack attacks.

Spitzer has not ruled out further legal action against the music giant.

California and Texas have already filed lawsuits against Sony.

Spitzer earned his reputation by forcing Merrill Lynch and other investment banks to do a better job of separating their supposedly independent research from investment activities.

More details from BusinessWeek .

Much of the cricitism of Sony is that it failed to act quickly enough when the problem became clear. This is likely to get worse with today's news that Finnish security firm F-Secure warned Sony about problems with its software on 4th October. This was followed by a more detailed report on 17 October.

A few days later, 20 October, a conference call was held between First4Internet, which wrote the rootkit for Sony, F-Secure and Sony. F-Secure claims that Sony decided at that point to keep things quiet. At the end of October the vulnerability was found, and published, by software engineer Mark Russinovich.

More details on BusinessWeek here.®

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