Friday, September 07, 2007

Sony Does It Again

I am including this post from another of my blogs as it may have compromised a clinician's computer or do so in the second round of rootkits. Especially troublesome is the information that one of the products that installs a rootkit is not a CD, but a USB fingerprint security device

Once upon a time in the not too far distant past I really liked Sony products. I still do. I have Sony tape deck, receiver, CD/DVD player, pocket recorder, and was drooling over several of their high-end cameras, but I have resolved never to buy another of their offerings because of their corporate behavior.

In 2005 there was a Sony BMG scandal in which rootkits were hidden in over 100 of the CD products manufactured and sold by them. When the customer played the "copy protected" "XCP" CD, a rootkit, otherwise known as spyware or malware, was installed in their computer without their knowledge. It interfered with the way in which Windows systems play CDs and opened several security holes for viruses to enter the unsuspecting owner's computer. Rather than go on at length here, I refer the reader to the wiki link above, for a thoroughly researched and well written explanation of the problem and the various electronic, ethical, and legal ramifications of their ploy. The first time, I was relatively quiet about it, but made my resolution and have abided by it.

Now they have done it again! "... F-Secure's Deep-Guard software has detected rootkits in more software distributed with Sony products." In my opinion, this goes beyond the point that I can simply shut up and not mention it to others whose computers may be affected. They not only did it, but they did it poorly in an attempt at security through obscurity. The TechRepublic Forum post I read most recently on this subject found many others with the same feelings about Sony as I have developed.

*Sigh* At least I'm not the only one who became really cranky over this.

Peace, Doc

Copyright © 2007, Thomas A. Blood, Ph.D.

"Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high." - Norwegian Proverb

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