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Gary Thornock's Weblog » Sony DRM Rootkit summary
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17th Nov, 2005

Sony DRM Rootkit summary


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Bruce Schneier has a summary of the whole Sony DRM rootkit story on his blog and in his column at Wired. It's a bit long, but worth the read. He looks at the story from various angles before concluding that, from his perspective at least, the real story is that the McAfees and Symantecs of the world aren't doing a very good job of protecting their customers from malicious software when the malware comes from another big company. From the article:

What happens when the creators of malware collude with the very companies we hire to protect us from that malware?

We users lose, that's what happens. A dangerous and damaging rootkit gets introduced into the wild, and half a million computers get infected before anyone does anything.

Who are the security companies really working for? It's unlikely that this Sony rootkit is the only example of a media company using this technology. Which security company has engineers looking for the others who might be doing it? And what will they do if they find one? What will they do the next time some multinational company decides that owning your computers is a good idea?

That's an interesting perspective. I look at it another way: if any individual had done the same thing, that person would be prosecuted for a felony and would spend a good long time in prison. How likely is it that Sony BMG, or anyone who works there, will face criminal charges in this case? (I don't think it's going to happen, and that's unfortunate.)

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