Sony/BMG Rootkit Thing

I had refrained from posting on the whole Sony/BMG/First 4 Internet rootkit debacle. I’m not sure what caused me pause. Possibly the sheer insanity of the whole thing? In a nutshell, some Sony/BMG ‘content enhanced’ music CDs install software on a user’s PC that redirects some operating system functions through its own library, and munges the results. In this particular case, it intercepts any file or registry listing calls, and hides results that start with “$sys$”. The term blunt axe doesn’t really begin to do justice to this sort of approach.

I can’t not post something like this however. Ignore for a moment the subject of the article, and just have a think about the implications of the Sony rootkit based on the contents of these quotes:


Called the Warden, the anti-cheating program cannot detect any files that are hidden with Sony BMG’s content protection, which only requires that the hacker add the prefix “$sys$” to file names.




Sony BMG and First 4 Internet, the maker of the content protection technology, have both disputed claims that their system could harm the security of a Windows system. Yet, other software makers that rely on the integrity of the operating system are finding that hidden code makes security impossible.


How the hell can you dispute claims that their system could harm the security of a Windows system, when your software allows any Tom, Dick or Script Kiddie to totally hide files and settings from any antivirus or security tool?

How? What manner of marketing training makes it possible for these cocks to say the stuff that they say? Are they not aware that there are no exceptions to this rule?

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