Sony Spyware

I’m surprised no one’s said anything about Sony’s anti piracy spyware (wee oxymoron of the day!). Well California is suing Sony and New York might follow suit. This could cost Sony A LOT of money.

Info on the problem:

I read an article somewhere that discussed how the rootkit allowed people to hide files from WoW and engage in WoW piracy; Bliz probably knows, but I find that interesting. I wonder if Bliz will take legal action?

Yeah, at the radiostation we aren’t allowed to use any Sony CDs for anything. We already fear someone used it when making a breaker for on air.

I had never heard of Audio CD’s needing extra software to be played on computers. That’s just sick. Another reason to hate RIAA (Sony’s part of it, isn’t it?).

Anyway, this made me giggle a little:

This situation is particularly egregious and surprising from a company that should be familiar with concerns people have with programs crashing their Windows computers

But this angered me lots:

…and (that) conventional means of removing the anti-piracy software renders the user’s CD-Rom drive inoperable

This thing is not virus-like as the articles say. It is a real virus by all definitions. The only difference from the mainstream ones could be that this is one you’d be agreeing to put into your system, if it weren’t for the deceptive contract.

Edit: so yeah, we’ve reached an era where pirated media and software are actually safer than their legit counterparts. Cheers.

I say boycott Sony. If people simply don’t buy their CD’s for a while, then Sony and other companies will be much less likely to spread computer virii.

Yeah, boycott Sony! Stop playing games on your PS2 and only play stuff on your PC!

… wait, I do that already.

Hurrah? It’s hardly remarkable though and it’s certainly not an oxymoron that anti-pirates should use syware: they nearly always have. They certainly use it a whole lot more than pirates do.

I heard about it last night on the news. This really sucks. I hope that the law suit does go through and Sony losses.

It is also funny about how they make it possible to cheat in WoW. It is almost like Sony is trying to sabotage the success of WoW and help Everquest II pull ahead.

Hah, you can use it to help anything, if i remember correctly.
Just put the $sys$ in name any of the hacks you’re using, and it’s immediately ignored due to the rootkit

(if this isn’t what Sin is talking about, forget me)

I don’t think Blizzard has a strong enough lawsuit unless they aren’t able to come up with a counter to it readily. If they try to make a patch for the game and it either costs too much or takes too much time, they might have a one (but it’d be sort of weak). The best bet is a lawsuit from California and New York about the software in general.

I hope those pricks get what’s coming to them. Using piracy as an excuse to send corporate spyware into people’s computers is appalling and completely unethical. I’m all for a boycott on Sony.

I’ve been talking about it, i just didn’t bother making a thread because i didn’t think anyone cared. This is absolutely hideous, and its disgusting that a large company like Sony would use a fucking rootkit as a DRM lockout, or whatever they were claiming to use it for. Personally, i think they should be punished somehow, whether it be a civil suit, or fines from the FCC (or whoever would have control over this case).

Also, steve is right, you can use the rootkit to get around PunkBuster (the hack checker for BF2, DoD, CoD, and others), the WoW hack checker, Steam’s validator, and any other anti-hack programs. Just rename your uberhax to $sys$_whatever.ext, since the rootkit is designed to hide those files. The real danger here is this, the fact that any user could install something designed to hide files. What if spyware companies like GATOR began naming their adware with the $sys$ flag in front of ever file? It would make it totally undetectable, all thanks to sony.

It would seem that there are already trojans afloat taking advantage of this mess:

If spyware companies decide to adopt Sony’s dirty strategy, then that means Sony might get sued over and over again. And it would serve them right. Speaking of which, how come some known spyware creators don’t get sued?

There are laws against this kind of thing. Sony needs to face legal charges.

Spyware almost always presents you with an EULA, whether they hide it from you or not. DirectX exploit spyware, the kind that installs on its own, is legal because you have agreed to the spywares EULA just by accessing a site that will install it without your knowledge. Bundling spyware, the kind you get with programs like KaZaam and eXeem, is legit because by accepting the EULA of the program you wish to install, you also accept the EULA of the spyware.

However, Sony’s strategy of getting their rootkit onto your system is not protected in any way, shape, or form. For one thing, it installs off a freakin’ AUDIO cd. Is anyone expecting a music CD to install anything? And two, no EULA is presented when the rootkit is installed, and no mention of the rootkit is made in the CD jacket, or anywhere else on the CD. Sony is installing it COMPLETELY without the user’s knowledge. Even the worst spyware is legit because it notifies the user to some extent (albeit a very small one).

The US government has prosecuted some spyware companies.

When installing Kazaa years back. It said it contains a certain Spyware software, before you hit Download. I only knew that after my brother installed it again after a restalling 98 after Corrupt system files…

Sony must be very Paranoid if it add that… I think Sony-BMG will be re-thinking about that statergy and EMI and the Like will be deciding to not empoly a simalar system…

No, sadly, the probably won’t. They’re the biggest record companies in the world, and have millions of dollars to throw around so that they are never susceptible to any control or punishment. Beside the fact that they lobby enough to be invincible, the people who would be in charge of prosecuting them for this crime are probably too stupid to understand what Sony has even done wrong. They’d side with them solely because “if people are stealing Sony property, Sony can do whatever it wants to prevent that.”

A civil suit, assuming it gets anywhere, would be the only thing that would damage these companies, though it probably couldn’t hurt them financially. If anything, they’ll settle out of court, then go back to congress and use their millions of dollars to lobby lawmakers into making this kind of DRM <i>legal</i>.

Shitsux, but thats the way it is :\

A suit against thtem, even by the government, would be a civil suit. There is nothing criminal about this.

I meant a suit brought by people, rather than the government. I thought that civil was what you called any suit brought by common citizens, and it was criminal if it was by the government. My bad.


Amazingly, Sony is continuing the use of this <i>same exact software</i>, as just today it was discovered that new CDs now also include a MacOSX version of the rootkit. Like i said, nothing will actually stop them.