Sony BMG Music Entertainment attempted to protect some of its music CDs from digital piracy by automatically installing copy protection software on the computers of users who attempted to play the music CDs on their computers. The security tool is a system root kit, and it restricts copying of the music on the CD. In response to a widespread outcry from consumers and security experts, Sony BMG Music Entertainment created a downloadable patch that will disable the root kit security program; however, the patch leaves the affected computer open to anyone’s downloading software to the computer.
Sony’s XCP copy protection program was included on at least different 20 CDs, and automatically installed itself when the CD was inserted into the computer’s drive, without the user’s knowledge or consent. The root kit software has a cloaking feature that hides files on the affected system. Users who attempt to manually remove the software find their CD drives inoperable.
Both the original root kit and Sony’s patch leave users’ computers open to attack from malicious software, including Trojan horse programs that allow the computer to be remotely controlled through the internet.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment really dropped a hammer on their toes, twice. I’m all for protecting intellectual property and digital media; however, do not expect that a system-wide security tool will do that without causing other problems for users.
This XCP root kit and its patch sound like a product created by committee without any technical expertise.
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Sony BMG Music Entertainment