More Sony DRM news



It looks like a list of Sony Music titles with the recent onerous DRM “rootkit” is being gathered. The Sunbelt blog has links to several lists. The EFF has a list here, there are two others though out there, here and here.

Among other things, another post mentions the stupid things Sony-BMG leadership has had to say on the matter…

“Most people, I think, don’t even know what a Rootkit is, so why should they care about it?”

and, it’s also noted the installer can be bypassed by pressing the shift key when loading the cd (to skip autorun.) (Does telling this actually violate the DMCA – spreading information on circumventing copy protection?)


The copy protection technology was called XCP. It appears that they are identifiable on a Mac (or I would assume linux machine?) by an extra data session on the disc. Here’s the details…

EFF has confirmed the presence of XCP on the following titles (each has a data session, easily read on a Macintosh, that includes a file called “VERSION.DAT” that announces what version of XCP it is using). If you have one of these CDs, and you have a Windows PC (Macs are totally immune, as usual), you may have caught the XCP bug.

When I first saw the list I was tempted to go and seek one of these out to find how it behaves on a linux box….

Another update this evening is that Computer associates “pest patrol” now classifies this as spyware. (Given all the problems on removal – I wonder how CA deals with it?)

What follows from Spyware Confidential is a list of steps to remove the bug…

User fills out online form and registers for download.
First email arrives.
User has to click link in email.
User has to download an activeX control which sends out unknown data to First4Internet. Note that activeX controls are generally considered to be security issues also.
User must provide more information.
Second email arrives telling the user to wait again.
Third email arrives eventually.
User has to click link and download second ActiveX control in order to download uninstaller.

What happens next is unclear. Curry reported as of this morning, CA has not been able to get the second activeX or an uninstaller to run.

Computer Associates has a page on disabling autoplay which is the feature that allows the software to load when the cd is inserted into they cdrom drive.

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One Response to “More Sony DRM news”

  1. Spyware Informer Says:


    The Sony DRM from Hell: Am I Infected Too?!

    Yep folks, Sony pulled off a Microsoft by installing illegal Trojan horse-based digital restrictions management (DRM) technology that installs itself as a rootkit on Windows PCs onto people’s computers. Users who buy, say… a CD from Amazon might b…

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