Sony Sucks

Ok, there I said it. No, I don’t feel any better!

A couple of years ago (2005) Sony installed a Rootkit inside some of it’s music CD’s. They had to replace the CD’s or give refunds.

According to Wikipedia a Rootkit is “a set of tools used by an intruder after cracking a computer system. These tools can help the attacker maintain his or her access to the system and use it for malicious purposes.” They gain access by literally hiding within the operating system which makes them difficult to remove.

F-Secure has (once again) found Sony at it again, this time with hardware. A new USB drive and fingerprint reader installs not one but two Rootkits on your computer. Now Sony may have a better excuse this time using “security” as a factor. You see all security can be bypassed, it is just a matter of how. By using a Rootkit to “hide” the fingerprint readers files and constraints, it is much harder to hack and thus it “slows down” anyone attempting to access your computer or memory stick via the reader. This slowdown is only effective until someone figures out how about the Rootkit and then reverses it to do any of their bidding.

Hacking is only the beginning, using your computer to spit out SPAM is a common attack as well as for hosting pirated movies, illegal pictures, and music ripped without permission.

If you don’t secure your computer the Government will (seatbelt laws, minimum auto insurance, state inspections…). Being hacked because of Sony will not be an excuse (Ignorance of the law is not excuse).

I am sure some will follow the Digital Rights Management (DRM) mantra, however, I never gave up my rights. Just because some business claims I gave them up, no-one has express written permission from me to give them up, not to Sony not to the DRM mafia, and not to Congress. Ok, now I feel a little better.

If you want to learn more about this fiasco visit the following links:

  1. Tech Republic
  2. F-Secure
  3. Cnet News