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Sony Hacking Computers for DRM

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sony Hacking Computers for DRM

Picture of Irv Owens Web DeveloperMy purchasing a CD on a Sony label does not give them the right to install malware on my computer. Sony has resorted to hacking computers using rootkits to hide processes and files left behind when a user plays a Sony CD on their PC. This type of chicanery is completely unacceptable. I can understand that Sony wants to protect their intellectual property, but the tactics that they are using to do this are beneath comtempt. Some people claim that trying to remove the files left behind by Sony's DRM scheme can prevent access to the computer system's CD drive. I don't think that this would happen in most cases, at least I would hope, but by adding files like this on someone's system, it would be much easier for a virus writer to piggyback their very malicious code onto Sony's malicious code. It is essentially like leaving a door open for hackers to get into your PC. No matter how carefully Sony considered security they can't be certain that their software won't be used in this manner.

There are interesting legal implications to this issue. If someone were to hack into the rootkit used by Sony to harm a user's PC. Would Sony be held liable for damages? Does the user agree to a EULA by simply playing a CD on their computer?

Personally I see two solutions to this issue. First of all, use iTunes or Napster to purchase music. I don't buy CDs anymore because they are just flat out inconvenient. The iTunes music store does a much better job of delivering music at a reasonable price, and as long as you archive your purchased songs on CD or DVD as data files, you won't lose them.

The second solution is to stop using Windows and use either a Macintosh, or just run Ubuntu Linux on your machine. The problem then is that the Sony CDs just won't play, but at least you won't have to worry about them installing malware on your computer.