A conversation brought from the same idiots who brought you False Advertising (DOWN with Napster!)
Hey, Ipstenu. What’s new in the music world?
What’d they do now? All I know is my CD player doesn’t want to play my new CD.
Yeah, that’s the problem! Sony installed a fucking a rootkit on people’s PCs (Windows) when they insert a Sony made music CD. And to make it worse, the CD is picky and might only play on Sony CD players!
Woah. … What’s that mean?
Okay, it’s all caused by copy-protection software that Sony uses. It’s called XCP and when you put the CD in, click “agree” on the popup menu, the CD installs software that hides from you. In point of fact, that’s the purpose of a rootkit, to hide software: registry entries, system settings, all that stuff. Generally it refers to the nefarious malware used by hackers to gain control of a system. Most of the time, malware (evil software you don’t want) use it to … well hide itself from you. It’s used on Windows. The worst part about is it is that it takes control and keeps it.
Sony, however, made it so that their music CDs (and DVDs probably) install such a rootkit.
Okay, that’s assy and suspicious, but .. what does it do? I mean, if it just sits there and hangs out, do I care?
First off, you can’t play the CD without hitting ‘I agree’ and that’s just anathema to most of us. After all, we don’t all have the same hardware, and to force us to use only Sony CD players to listen to their music borders on monopolization.
Second, you can only play the CD using the media player software that comes on the CD, and there’s no promise that software won’t conflict with all your other software.
Third, it does break shit, though Sony lies and says it doesn’t.
Fourth, you can’t uninstall it without, in most cases, breaking Windows.
Yeah, but you clicked ‘I agree’ on the EULA. And you always tell me that not reading them is your own fucking fault.
Fair enough. The original EULA says that it will install software, this is true. The EULA doesn’t mention ‘I’m installing software you can’t remove with Add/Remove Programs.’ Mind you, it does now, but there was at least a week that the EULA didn’t mention it. Probably longer and more like a couple months.
Isn’t that against the law?
Why yes! And lawsuits are underway.
No shit. So how do you uninstall it?
Sony released a patch to uninstall it, but all it does in get rid of some of the hiding ability. That is, the malicious code is still on your computer. Also, the ‘update’ is 3.5 megs, and that’s bigger than the original install. It’s updating every file installed by the first install, and it’s not telling you what it’s adding.
What other problems does it cause?
Ironically, it hides you from World of Warcraft in a weird way that makes it possible for hackers to obfuscate their dirty dealings from the game. Whoops! And you know those hackers will utelize the basics of the rootkit and carry on their nefarious ways.
It’s already being used by a couple Trojan viruses to fuck up your computer.
If any other company tries a similar DRM, it could blow up your computer past repair.
Basically? It’s assy.
Oh and Microsoft hasn’t said jack about it. Interesting. No?
Hey, you own a Mac. Why are you so pissed?
Becuase now they do it to Macs too!
The CDs have a Start.app along side the Windows crap, and if you run that app (bless Macs for not making things auto-run) it installs software (after asking for your admin ID and password, again, bless Macs). The install will then copy over two kernel extensions: PhoenixNub1.kext and PhoenixNub12.kext.
What does this do? I don’t know. But I know I don’t like it.