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Sony going down in flames

 
 
Rich
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      11-17-2005
They're suffering economically, now this virusware they released
hasn't helped. They deserve the pain;

Security firms react to rootkit

[CD]
Following a week of extensive public criticism, Sony BMG's problems
continued as class-action lawsuits and public letters were released in
response to an anti-piracy program found on a number of its music CDs.

XCP (Extended Copy Protection), developed as a means of copy
protection for Sony by British software company First4Internet, drew
attention from the software industry when Mark Russinovich, chief
software architect of Winternals Software, released his findings that
the software functioned as a rootkit, or hidden program, that could
not be safely removed from a computer's operating system without
disabling additional features.

The program, which installs itself without the user's knowledge when
certain Sony BMG music CDs are inserted, has been considered dangerous
by many security experts. The application runs invisibly within the
system and allows other programs to do the same provided the filename
begins with a "$sys$" character string.

"Apparently they're trying to hide the rest of the copy protection
software from users who were trying to get rid of it," said Edward
Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton
University. "The problem is that it hid more than that software and
hid any files, programs and registry entries that started with the
prefix. Malicious software could give itself that name and be
invisible at that point."

According to Russinovich's weblog of the rootkit discovery, deletion
of the XCP program disabled access to the CD-ROM drive.

"The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had
Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by
malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and
provides no means for uninstall," wrote Russinovich. "Worse, most
users that stumble across the cloaked files with a root kit removal
program scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious
step of deleting the cloaked files."

"The protection software simply acts to prevent unlimited copying and
ripping from discs featuring this protection solution," Sony BMG said
in a statement posted on its Web site last week. "It is otherwise
inactive. The software does not collect any personal information nor
is it designed to be intrusive to your computer system."

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of F-Secure, a computer
security firm, acknowledged the network functions. The software, which
runs a background network function, contacts a pair of Sony servers
and reports which audio track is being listened to as well as the
computer's hardware identification information.

Hypponen went on to explain how the program has been adapted into a
viable means of creating viruses that would be impossible to locate
using anti-viral programs. To date, four known instances of the
B-Replicant virus family have emerged using the rootkit's technology
as a means of hiding themselves within the system. These viruses,
which operate over a network, can be used to remotely control an
infected computer for malicious purposes such as attacking a Web site
with large amounts of network traffic.

Sony BMG has made a removal utility available for download but has
come under fire for creating further vulnerability through its use.
The utility installs software that may enable the Internet Explorer
Web browser to be controlled by a remote host if the user visits
malicious Web sites.

"At the personal level, I think Sony is doing stunts like this because
they're worried about the market share within mobile devices," said
Hypponen. "They used to own the market with the Walkman, which was
circumvented in just a few years. One of the functions of the program
is that it prevents the music from being moved to an iPod. These files
move just fine to a Walkman."

"There's a lot of rhetoric against illegal copying and a lot of
pressure on executives to do this, but in that fight, companies go too
far. There is zero evidence that this program stops illegal copying,"
said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy group. "There's so much pressure
just to do something that they roll out these technologies without
thinking of the customer."

Security firms such as Symantec and F-Secure have updated their
clients to detect and safely eliminate the XCP program. Microsoft has
also updated its anti-spyware program to remove the underlying code.

To date, Sony BMG has recalled the more than 4 million XCP-enabled
music CDs from store shelves and is planning a campaign to replace the
2.1 million that have been sold.

Sony BMG and First4Internet were not available for comment.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International




This news is brought to you by PhysOrg.com

 
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Nonymous
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      11-18-2005

"Rich" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> They're suffering economically, now this virusware they released
> hasn't helped. They deserve the pain;


Sony's a mega huge global conglomerate. A few million fat Americans
bitching about some copy protection is going to take Sony down and will be a
mere blip on the mothership in Japan.


 
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Mark Jones
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      11-18-2005
Nonymous wrote:
> "Rich" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> They're suffering economically, now this virusware they released
>> hasn't helped. They deserve the pain;

>
> Sony's a mega huge global conglomerate. A few million fat Americans
> bitching about some copy protection is going to take Sony down and
> will be a mere blip on the mothership in Japan.

They also sell hardware that isn't holding up as well as it should.
Sony needs a management shake-up in order to root out the
people who are making these dumb decisions.


 
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SBFan2000
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      11-18-2005
Those "Fat Americans" you speak of are not complaining about copy
protection, their complaining about stuff being installed on their system
without their knowledge. How would you like it if someone came into your
house and put child porn on your computer without you knowledge? How would
your significant other like it?

Sonys hardware has been **** for the past several years. The current big
wigs are making some majorly stupid decisions and now they are installing
spyware/malware with knowledge of the owner. Most likely they'll survive
but no company is invinceable, ask the employees at Enron. Sony needs to
put out a removal program for the malware, issue an apology, and start
making hardware that works and is in step with their once excellent
reputation. I use to buy nothing but sony but after failure of MANY devices
I'll now buy anything but Sony!




"Nonymous" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Rich" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > They're suffering economically, now this virusware they released
> > hasn't helped. They deserve the pain;

>
> Sony's a mega huge global conglomerate. A few million fat Americans

bitching about some copy protection is going to take Sony down and will be a
mere blip on the mothership in Japan.





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Mark Jones
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      11-18-2005
(PeteCresswell) wrote:
> Per Mark Jones:
>> They also sell hardware that isn't holding up as well as it should.
>> Sony needs a management shake-up in order to root out the
>> people who are making these dumb decisions.

>
> Yeah.. I paid top dollar for a Sony LCD monitor about a year ago.

I am using a 20.1 inch 1600x1200 Sony LCD monitor right now,
and it is working perfect.

I can't say the same for my 5 disk Sony DCD player. It is starting
to have trouble even with brand new DVDs. I am going to see if it
just needs cleaning, but I am not getting my hopes up. It is only
1.5 years old.

My 4 year old Mitsubishi DVD player is working great, so that is
what I am using right now. I don't plan to buy another Sony DVD player.


 
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SBFan2000
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      11-18-2005
I had two Sony DVDs die in just over a year. (just out of warranty) Finally
got smart and bought a Toshiba, then 3 months later a Samsung! 2 years
later, both still running strong!


"Mark Jones" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:jQaff.9772$(E-Mail Removed) nk.net...
> (PeteCresswell) wrote:
> > Per Mark Jones:
> >> They also sell hardware that isn't holding up as well as it should.
> >> Sony needs a management shake-up in order to root out the
> >> people who are making these dumb decisions.

> >
> > Yeah.. I paid top dollar for a Sony LCD monitor about a year ago.

> I am using a 20.1 inch 1600x1200 Sony LCD monitor right now,
> and it is working perfect.
>
> I can't say the same for my 5 disk Sony DCD player. It is starting
> to have trouble even with brand new DVDs. I am going to see if it
> just needs cleaning, but I am not getting my hopes up. It is only
> 1.5 years old.
>
> My 4 year old Mitsubishi DVD player is working great, so that is
> what I am using right now. I don't plan to buy another Sony DVD player.
>
>
>




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Mark Jones
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      11-18-2005
Mark Jones wrote:
> (PeteCresswell) wrote:
>> Per Mark Jones:
>>> They also sell hardware that isn't holding up as well as it should.
>>> Sony needs a management shake-up in order to root out the
>>> people who are making these dumb decisions.

>>
>> Yeah.. I paid top dollar for a Sony LCD monitor about a year ago.

> I am using a 20.1 inch 1600x1200 Sony LCD monitor right now,
> and it is working perfect.
>
> I can't say the same for my 5 disk Sony DCD player. It is starting

I meant DVD player.

> to have trouble even with brand new DVDs. I am going to see if it
> just needs cleaning, but I am not getting my hopes up. It is only
> 1.5 years old.
>
> My 4 year old Mitsubishi DVD player is working great, so that is
> what I am using right now. I don't plan to buy another Sony DVD
> player.



 
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Nonymous
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-18-2005
> "Nonymous" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> "Rich" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> > They're suffering economically, now this virusware they released
>> > hasn't helped. They deserve the pain;

>>
>> Sony's a mega huge global conglomerate. A few million fat Americans

> bitching about some copy protection is going to take Sony down and will be
> a
> mere blip on the mothership in Japan.


"SBFan2000" <weareborgNOSP#(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Those "Fat Americans" you speak of are not complaining about copy
> protection, their complaining about stuff being installed on their system
> without their knowledge. How would you like it if someone came into your
> house and put child porn on your computer without you knowledge? How
> would
> your significant other like it?


What's your point? Did I say they *shouldn't* whine? Did I say it wasn't
bad? No, I did not. I'm just saying that all the hype in this country
surrounding this one issue will have a very little if any negative effect on
the Sony Intergalactic Empire. And for the record, I'm a fat American.



 
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Billy Joe
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-18-2005
Nonymous wrote:
> "Rich" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> They're suffering economically, now this virusware they
>> released
>> hasn't helped. They deserve the pain;

>
> Sony's a mega huge global conglomerate. A few million fat
> Americans
> bitching about some copy protection is going to take Sony down
> and
> will be a mere blip on the mothership in Japan.


Hiri kiri; the only answer for Sony execs and their minions!
They have lost face. Time to take action, honorably. And, it
would be a nice tradition to start among the corp. execs of
other nations ;-0)

BJ


 
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Justin
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-18-2005
>
>
> "Mark Jones" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:jQaff.9772$(E-Mail Removed) nk.net...
>> (PeteCresswell) wrote:
>> > Per Mark Jones:
>> >> They also sell hardware that isn't holding up as well as it should.
>> >> Sony needs a management shake-up in order to root out the
>> >> people who are making these dumb decisions.
>> >
>> > Yeah.. I paid top dollar for a Sony LCD monitor about a year ago.

>> I am using a 20.1 inch 1600x1200 Sony LCD monitor right now,
>> and it is working perfect.
>>
>> I can't say the same for my 5 disk Sony DCD player. It is starting
>> to have trouble even with brand new DVDs. I am going to see if it
>> just needs cleaning, but I am not getting my hopes up. It is only
>> 1.5 years old.
>>
>> My 4 year old Mitsubishi DVD player is working great, so that is
>> what I am using right now. I don't plan to buy another Sony DVD player.
>>

SBFan2000 wrote on [Thu, 17 Nov 2005 21:22:50 -0500]:
> I had two Sony DVDs die in just over a year. (just out of warranty) Finally
> got smart and bought a Toshiba, then 3 months later a Samsung! 2 years
> later, both still running strong!


Was that a Toshiba made in China?
 
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