Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Researchers See Risk From Another Sony DRM

The Sony BMG anti-piracy story just refuses to go away.

And maybe it shouldn't: Security researchers -- the same ones who earlier this week found serious security holes in a patch Sony issued to remove the scariest components of its anti-piracy program -- today bring us evidence of similarly frightening security holes associated with another digital rights management (DRM) program the recording label uses on some CDs, a product called SunnComm MediaMax.

Edward Felten, a computer science professor at Princeton University, said that while SunnComm and Sony BMG offer a tool that allows users to completely uninstall the program, the uninstaller also opens the computer up to extremely serious security problems, much like the uninstaller for First4Internet's infamous copy-protection program.

From Felten's post: "When you visit the SunnComm uninstaller web page, you are prompted to accept a small software component -- an ActiveX control called AxWebRemoveCtrl created by SunnComm. This control has a design flaw that allows any Web site to cause it to download and execute code from an arbitrary URL.

"If you've used the SunnComm uninstaller, the vulnerable AxWebRemoveCtrl component is still on your computer, and if you later visit an evil Web site, the site can use the flawed control to silently download, install and run any software code it likes on your computer. The evil site could use this ability to cause severe damage, such as adding your PC to a botnet or erasing your hard disk."

Felten said you can tell whether the vulnerable control is installed on your computer by using a tool he developed: the "AxWebRemoveCtrl detector." More details are avaiable at his blog, Freedom-to-Tinker.com. A note of caution from Felten, however:

"Unfortunately, if you use our tool to block the control, you won't be able to use SunnComm's current uninstaller to remove their software. It's up to them to replace the flawed uninstaller with a safe one as soon as possible, and to contact those who have already used the vulnerable uninstaller with instructions for closing the hole."

Great, so now we're waiting for a safe uninstall tool from both Sony and SunnComm? (By the way, if anyone can help me out with a list of CDs protected by SunnComm software, I'd be much obliged.)

After the whole Sony BMG fiasco originally broke, lots of smart people were saying it could be the death knell for DRM technologies. I was not so convinced of that at the time, but as each passing day brings more revelations about how poorly designed these products are, I am beginning to come around to that opinion myself.

By Brian Krebs  |  November 17, 2005; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  Piracy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Major Internet Backbone Goes Down
Next: Sony, Amazon Detail CD Buyback

Comments

DRM from Sony is just the tip of the ice berg. Sony's new Blu-Ray technology incorporates yet to be disclosed DRM technologies and there is no immediate sign that it will be reviewed and removed form this new specification.

Posted by: David The IT Manager | November 17, 2005 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The one's I know of are:

My Morning Jacket - 'Z'

Santana - 'All That I Am'

Sarah McLachlan - 'Bloom Remix Album'

Leo Kottke/Mike Gordon - 'Sixty Six Steps'

Posted by: Sony hater | November 17, 2005 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Neil Diamond, "12 Songs"


Celine Dion, "On Ne Change Pas"


Ricky Martin, "Life"


Van Zant, "Get Right with the Man"


Sarah McLachlan, "Bloom Remix Album"


Natasha Bedingfield, "Unwritten"


Burt Bacharach, "At This Time"


Chris Botti, "To Love Again"


Cyndi Lauper, "The Body Acoustic"


Pete Seeger, "The Essential Pete Seeger"


All Star-Tribute to Luther Vandross, "So Amazing"


Trey Anastasio, "Shine"


The Bad Plus, "Suspicious Activity"

Posted by: Ron | November 17, 2005 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ron,

I think you may be posting titles that are protected by Sony's First4Internet DRM. Where are you getting your info from?

Posted by: Bk | November 17, 2005 6:34 PM | Report abuse

http://cp.sonybmg.com/xcp/english/titles.html

This links to Sony BMG's comprehensive list of affected cds.

Posted by: What were they thinking | November 17, 2005 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys. Thanks for reading and for contributing to this post. But please don't post any more links or lists that relate to CDs using the Sony-licensed XCP (First4Internet) technology. That's not what this entry is about. What I really want to know is if anyone has information about which Sony titles are affected by SunnComm's DRM.

Posted by: Bk | November 17, 2005 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a list of XCP *and* SunnComm protected CD's at http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/Sony-BMG/.

The current list includes:
1. Amici Forever - Defined
2. Foo Fighters - In Your Honor
3. David Gray - Life in Slow Motion
4. Alicia Keys - Unplugged
5. My Morning Jacket - Z
6. Santana - All That I Am
7. Sarah McLachlan - Bloom Remix Album

You're absolutely right this story shouldn't go away; there's reports now that the First4Internet / XCP software also contained LGPL and GPL'd code. The best part is that not only is it GPL code, it's the code to remove copy protection from iTunes music files. So, besides ethical transgressions, they broke copyright law and violated the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Posted by: Chris Murphy | November 17, 2005 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Brian:
One disc I own has SunnComm on it - "Howl" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (RCA/BMG). Good luck with your investigations. Sony should offer to exchange or offer a refund for ALL copy-protected discs.

Posted by: MG | November 17, 2005 7:39 PM | Report abuse

David Gray's Life in Slow Motion has the Sunncomm DRM.

Posted by: Gary | November 17, 2005 7:50 PM | Report abuse

There really is only one way to protect yourself. don't buy CDs that carry the copy protection label.
If you want that music download it.

Posted by: simple solution | November 17, 2005 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know if disabling the windows cd/dvd-rom autorun functionality (either permanently via the registry or temporarily via the shift key) prevents any or all of these emerging Sony viruses from being able to surreptitiously infect ones computer off the infected cd?

It seems like it would have to, doesn't it?

Anybody want to try it?

Posted by: Jerry | November 17, 2005 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Dave Matthews CD" Stand Up" is also a SunnComm protected CD. I know, it screwed up my CD player and now I hope it hasn't infected my computer.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 17, 2005 10:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a list from the SunnComm site of all protected titles (Just click on the pulldown - The CD in Question):

http://www.sunncomm.com/support/askthetech.asp

Posted by: Ben Anglin | November 17, 2005 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Many of the artists Sony is "protecting" are quite dead.

Posted by: Bill | November 17, 2005 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the comment:

"...as each passing day brings more revelations about how poorly designed these products are, I am beginning to come around to that opinion myself."

In a lot of ways, this is just like the situation with Windows where functionality was foremost in the mind of the designer and security was never a consideration.

do you think that Sony/BMG ever asked the question, "will there be any issues to the user when they put this cd into their computer?"

absolutely not, the only question that Sony asked was "how many times will the user be able to copy a CD".

i am not making an argument pro or against the digital copyright technology. what i do find interesting is that in all the bills that have come before congress to legislate this matter (in particular the DCMA), there was never any consumer rights in the equation at all. it all came down to how to protect the intellectual property owners.

i guess that is the general case with all computer products. since there is no governance over even operating systems, why should there be for this medium. however, in most cases, you take on the risk yourself by clicking the licensing agreement.

final thought in the matter...though Sony is taking all the heat in this matter, sony is probably going to turn around and sue the developer of this software product for the financial losses that occur to Sony due to the defect. that includes the cost of recalling the shipment, loss of products. i don't know who i feel worse for: the big boy sony or the little guy who decided to install a root kit on the end user's machine.

Posted by: Andy | November 17, 2005 11:30 PM | Report abuse

A List Of CDs with Sunncomm Mediamax Malware

What these CDs contain:

Sunncomm's Mediamax is the OTHER Sony-sponsored malware.

This is the one that LOADS INTO A WINDOWS PC WITHOUT ASKING whenever you insert the DRM-afflicted CD into the PC.

It then pops up a window that offers the (exact) same EULA as is offerred with the F4I XCP rootkit malware that is on other Sony CDs, the EULA that says that the software will not be installed if the user declines the EULA. In this case the EULA lies.

The Sunncomm malware is already INSTALLED and RUNNING on your PC.

Megabytes of malware are already at home and at work in your PC even as you read the EULA, crippling your CD drive access at the kernel level and interfering with any multimedia software... and if you decline the EULA and remove the CD from your PC the Sunncomm malware is LEFT installed and running.

If you are so trusting as to actually accept the EULA then the malware is tucked away in the Windows system registry to start everytime you turn on your PC.

The first of several "Freedom To Tinker" articles on the subject
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=925

Also, Sunncomm's Mediamax is the DRM that will try to rewrite a Mac's kernel extensions if you give it half a chance. And you thought Mac's were immune? Sony's trying real hard to prove you wrong.

And now:

THE SUNNCOMM MEDIAMAX DRM CD LIST

(from: http://www.sunncomm.com/support/askthetech.asp)

20137-(HED) PE-4 Song Sampler

439-40 Below Summer-The Mourning After

456-ADEMA-Unstable

20077-Afterdark-San Francisco

20149-Afterdark-New York City

323-ALEJANDRA GUZMAN-LIPSTICK

324-ALEJANDRA GUZMAN-LIPSTICK (VERSION INTERNACIONAL)

20237-Alicia Keys-Unplugged - Premium

20238-Alicia Keys-Unplugged - Standard

20247-Alicia Keys-Unplugged - Premium Canadian Release

20248-Alicia Keys-Unplugged - Standard Canadian Release

20162-Amici forever-Defined

20195-Amici forever-Defined - Canadian Release

326-Ana Victoria-Love Is All

202-Ana Victoria-3 Song Sampler

208-Ana Victoria-5 Song Sampler

10083-Angie Stone-Stone Love

268-Anthony Hamilton-Comin' From Where I'm From

20268-Anthony Hamilton-Ain't Nobody Worryin'

418-Aretha Franklin-So Damn Happy

248-Automatic Black-Automatic Black - Album Sampler

203-Automatic Black-3 Song Sampler

819-Avril Lavigne-Under My Skin

20117-Babyface-A Love Story

249-Babyface-Babyface 5 Song Sampler

20181-Babyface-Grown & Sexy

20186-Babyface-4 Song Sampler

20204-Babyface-Grown & Sexy - Canadian Release

20189-Backstreet Boys-Never Gone - Canadian Release

20183-Backstreet Boys-Never Gone

20055-Bargrooves-Terrazza

250-Bebel Gilberto-Bebel Gilberto

360-Ben Kweller-On My Way

20208-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-Howl

20171-Blitzkrieg Pop-T. Raumschmiere

251-Blu Cantrell-Bittersweet

255-Boyd Tinsley-Boyd Tinsley

20082-Boyz II Men-Throwback

275-Brand New-Deja Entendu

20244-Brian Wilson-What I Really Want For Christmas

20258-Britney Spears-Remixed">Britney Spears - Remixed

20262-Britney Spears-Remixed - Canadian Release

309-Britney Spears-In The Zone

20057-CARTEL DE SANTA-VOL. II

420-Cassidy-Split Personality (explicit)

20205-Cassidy-I'm A Hustla (Explicit) - Canadian Release

20191-Cassidy-I'm a Hustla (explicit)

20192-Cassidy-I'm a Hustla (edited)

261-Cee Lo Green-Cee Lo Green...Is The Soul Machine

20196-Charlie Wilson-5 Song Sampler

20223-Charlie Wilson-Charlie Last Name Wilson

20029-Charlotte Martin-On Your Shore

20264-Chris Brown-Chris Brown

10071-Christopher Lawrence-All Or Nothing

735-Citizen Cope-Under The Sun

20135-Clay Aiken-Merry Christmas With Love

20190-Cook Dixon Young-Volume One

20210-Cuban Link-Chain Reaction (Explicit)

20144-Cuban Link-Chain Reaction - Demo

321-da Brat-Limelite Luv & Niteclubz (Edited)

322-da Brat-Limelite Luv n Niteclubz (Explicit)

20172-Dave Matthews Band-Stand Up - Canadian Release

20161-Dave Matthews Band-Stand Up

20211-David Gray-Life In Slow Motion

20232-David Gray-Life In Slow Motion - Canadian Release

357-Death Threat-Now Here Fast!

320-Dido-Life For Rent

474-Dido-White Flag

20180-Dido-Dido Live

20273-Donell Jones-Journey Of A Gemini Sampler

237-Donell Jones-Album Sampler

20241-Donovan Banzana-Life's Code Of Ethics

267-Elvis Presley-Close Up Sampler

325-Elvis Presley-Live In Texas 1972

454-Elvis Presley-Unreleased Movie Gems

455-Elvis Presley-Unreleased Stereo Masters From The `50s

437-Elvis Presley-The Magic Of Nashville

286-ERIK RUBIN-ERIK RUBIN

311-Eve6-It's All In Your Head

20206-Faithless-Forever Faithless

20222-FlamBey-The Flamerous Life

20187-Foo Fighters-7 Song Sampler

20178-Foo Fighters-In Your Honor (Electric)

20179-Foo Fighters-In Your Honor (Acoustic)"

20127-Frequent Flyer-Bombay

20044-Frequent Flyer-Rio De Janeiro

353-From Zero-My So-called Life

262-Gavin DeGraw-Chariot Album Sampler

299-GOB-Foot In Mouth Disease

20254-Goldfrapp-Supernature

20092-Hadley-Hadley

443-Heather Headley-this is who I am

20018-Hot Import Nights-Driving Beats

435-Ike and Tina Turner-The Early Sessions

20239-Imogen Heap-Speak for Yourself

438-In Essence-The Master Plan

305-J-Kwon-Hood Hop (Edited)

306-J-Kwon-Hood Hop (Explicit)

20074-J-Zone-A Job Aint Nuthin but Work

372-Jacksoul-PROMO - HMV value add

403-jacksoul-Resurrected

307-James Taylor-Hourglass

20260-Jamie Foxx-Unpredictable - THE SAMPLER

20240-Jeff Bates-Good People

20166-Jim Brickman-Grace - Canadian Release

20156-Jim Brickman-Grace

20158-Jody Sticker-5 Minutes

20182-Judd And Maggie-Subjects

20132-Kalan Porter-219 Days

20141-Kasabian-Kasabian

20167-Kasabian-Kasabian - Canadian Release

20157-Keith Anderson-Three Chord Country And American Rock & Roll

20151-Kelis-Tasty (Edited)"

427-Kelis-Tasty (Explicit)

20145-Ken Oak-Half Step Down

20113-Kenny G-4 Song Sampler

809-Keshia Chanté-Sampler

476-Kings Of Leon-Youth And Young Manhood

20134-Kings Of Leon-Aha Shake Heartbreak

20169-Kings Of Leon-Aha Shake Heartbreak - Canadian Release

292-LA 5a. ESTACION-FLORES DE ALQUILER

20272-Leilani Jaster-Leilani Jaster

362-Len Doolin-Once In A Lifetime

20198-Leo Kottke/Mike Gordon-Sixty Six Steps

20217-Living Things-Ahead Of The Lions

20152-Longwave-There's A Fire

20126-Los Razos-La Raza Anda Acelrada (Explicit)

354-Manmohan Waris-Nachiye Majajne

20106-Mario-Here I Go Again

20229-Maroon 5-Maroon 5 Live - Friday The 13th - Canadian Release

20225-Maroon 5-Live: Friday the 13th

285-MARTIN RICCA-ENAMORADO

20215-Mashonda-January Joy

20263-Melissa O'Neil-Melissa O'Neil - Canadian Release

260-MIJARES-CAPPUCCINO

20128-Moderato-Detector De Metales

20129-Moenia-Stereo Hits

310-My Morning Jacket-it still moves

20216-My Morning Jacket-Z

20174-Nathaniel Kimble-Better Get Ready

20219-Nikka Costa-Can'tneverdidnothin' - Australian Release

298-Nodesha-Get It While It`s Hot

368-North Star-Pollyanna

20125-Other-Please Detail in Question

20214-Our Lady Peace-Healthy In Paranoid Times - Candadian Release

278-Out Of Your Mouth-Draghdad

419-Outkast-Speakerboxxx

424-Ozomatli-Street Signs

816-PANTEON ROCOCO-TRES VECES TRES

20220-Paul van Dyk-Politics of Dancing 2

366-Pedro Vargas-Pedro Vargas Canta a José Alfredo Jiménez

20024-Peggy Scott-Adams-God Can And He Will

308-PERSEGUIDOS-III

20136-Peter Cetera-You Just Gotta Love Christmas

20261-Philosopher Kings-Castles

448-Pink-Try This

20147-Play-N-Skillz-The Album Before The Album

20025-Projet Orange-4-Track Sampler

20097-Projet Orange-Megaphobe

20227-Quenga-Quenga - U.S. and New Zealand Release

808-Rachael Yamagata-Happenstance

20194-Raheem DeVaughn-The Love Experience

20014-Ray Charles-Genius Loves Company

20038-Ray LaMontagne-Trouble

20193-Richard Hawley-Cole's Corner

20197-Röyksopp-The Understanding - Australian & New Zealand Release

20030-Sak Pasé Presents Wyclef Jean-Welcome To Haiti Creole 101

20199-SalonMusique-Uptown Conditioner

20200-SalonMusique-Ultimate Relaxer

20245-Santana-All That I Am

20256-Santana-All That I Am - Canadian Release

20207-Sarah McLachlan-Bloom (Album Remix)

20138-Sarah McLachlan-Afterglow Live

235-Sarah McLachlan-Afterglow

289-Sarah Mclachlan-Fallen

20249-Say Anything-Say Anything...is a Real Boy

20250-Say Anything-Say Anything...was a Real Boy

20251-Say Anything-Say Anything...is a Real Boy - Canadian Release

20252-Say Anything-Say Anything...was a Real Boy - Canadian Release

817-SHAILA-SHAILA

20257-Shane Capone-Heated Speech

20148-Shawn Desman-Sampler - Canadian Release

20163-Shawn Desman-Back For More - Canadian Release

20120-Shawn Kane-Full Version Sampler

20188-Shawnie-The Return

20094-Silvertide-Show And Tell (Explicit)

20095-Silvertide-Show And Tell (Edited)

457-Skrape-Up The Dose

213-Sloan-Action Pact

20173-Sloan-A Sides Win: Singles 1992 - 2005 - Canadian Release

20259-Smitty-Life Of A Troubled Child (Album Advance)

373-Soil-Redefine

20221-Soundtrack-Masters of Horror Soundtrack Sampler

20170-Soundtrack-The Cave

20159-Soundtrack-XXX: State of the Union (explicit)

20160-Soundtrack-XXX: State of the Union (edited)

20165-Sountrack-XXX: State Of The Union (Explicit) - Canadian Release

475-South-With The Tides

415-Spymob-Sitting Around Keeping Score

20201-StellaStarr*-4 Song Sampler

20203-StellaStarr*-Album Advance

20231-Stellastarr*-Harmonies For The Haunted - Canadian Release

20235-Stellastarr*-Harmonies For The Haunted

356-Steve Myland-Not Every Rhyme Has A Reason

371-Strawberry Shortcake-Premium Giveaway

20255-Suburban Tragedy-Tonight We'll Watch The Sun Come Up

20224-Syleena Johnson-Chapter 3: The Flesh

20228-Syleena Johnson-Chapter 3: The Flesh - Canadian Release

20266-T-Pain-Rappa Ternt Sanga - Explicit

20267-T-Pain-Rappa Ternt Sanga - Edited

20176-T. Raumschmiere-Blitzkrieg Pop

20177-Tazz Calhoun-It's All Good

204-Tears For Fears-3-Song Sampler

288-Tears For Fears-Everybody Loves A Happy Ending

276-Tha Rayne-Didn`t You Know

20202-The Appearance-Are We Not Entertained?

10073-The Calling-Two Copy

20168-The Chieftains-Live From Dublin; A Tribute To Derek Bell - Canadian Release

20143-The Chietains-Live From Dublin; A Tribute To Derek Bell

318-The Crystal Method-Legion of Boom

440-The Neptunes-The Neptunes Present...Clones

20142-The Residents-Animal Lover

432-The Sound Of Urchin-The Diamond

406-The Strokes-Album Advance

20269-The Strokes-First Impressions Of Earth

20213-The Trews-Den of Thieves - Canadian Release

20175-The Warlocks-Surgery

263-Theo-Chemistry...You And Me

365-Tita & Sãozinha-Papá

802-TOÑITA-LAS CUENTAS CLARAS

20133-UGK-Jive Records Presents: UGK - Chopped & Screwed

271-Usher-Confessions

20080-VARIOS-MISION S.O.S.(AVENTURA Y AMOR)

20041-Various-Relaxation: A Windham Hill Colletion

20079-Various-Reflections

20027-Various-Urban International Sampler

245-Various-Arista Fall 2003 Sampler Promo CD

20146-Various-Down South Party Mix!

20212-Various-Elizabethtown - Songs From the Brown Hotel

20218-Various-Canadian Idols: High Notes - Canadian Release

20209-Various-2005 NARM Sampler

20226-Various-So Amazing An All Star Tribute To Luther Vandross

20230-Various-So Amazing An All-Star Tribute To Luther Vandross - Canadian Release

20242-Various-Masters Of Horror

20234-Various-Masters of Horror Radio Sampler

343-Various Artists-Music Snapshot of LG Action Sports Championship

824-Various Artists-Majestic II

828-Velvet Revolver-Contraband (Explicit)

822-Velvet Revolver-Contraband (Edited)

20130-Velvet Revolver-Bonus Material

300-Vertical Horizon-Go

277-Vue-Down For Whatever

241-Wakefield-American Made

20184-Wakefield-What Side Are You On? (explicit)

20185-Wakefield-Which Side Are You On? (edited)

363-Whitney Houston-One Wish

447-Whitney Houston-Try It On My Own

441-Wyclef Jean-The Preacher`s Son

20089-Yaga Y Makie-Clase Aparte

10077-Yogacharya Swami Kripalvanandji-Premdhara 3 & 4 - U.S. & India Release

20154-Yogacharya Swami Kripalvanandji-Premdhara 5 & 6 - U.S. & India Release

20253-Yogacharya Swami Kripalvanandji-Premdhara 7 & 8 - U.S. & India Release

20270-YoungBloodZ-Ev'rybody Know Me (Explicit)

20271-YoungBloodZ-Ev'rybody Know Me (Edited)

279-YoungBloodZ-Drankin` Patnaz

20086-Yung Wun-The Dirtiest Thirstiest (Explicit)

20087-Yung Wun-The Dirtiest Thirstiest (Edited)

Posted by: zapkitty | November 18, 2005 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Um...thanks Zapkitty. But I didn't get YOU anything for Christmas! Man, I love our readers!

Posted by: Bk | November 18, 2005 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Oops... buffer overflow ;)

The rest of the CD list of those titles afflicted with Sunncomm Mediamax Malware:
20230-Various-So Amazing An All-Star Tribute To Luther Vandross - Canadian Release

20242-Various-Masters Of Horror

20234-Various-Masters of Horror Radio Sampler

343-Various Artists-Music Snapshot of LG Action Sports Championship

824-Various Artists-Majestic II

828-Velvet Revolver-Contraband (Explicit)

822-Velvet Revolver-Contraband (Edited)

20130-Velvet Revolver-Bonus Material

300-Vertical Horizon-Go

277-Vue-Down For Whatever

241-Wakefield-American Made

20184-Wakefield-What Side Are You On? (explicit)

20185-Wakefield-Which Side Are You On? (edited)

363-Whitney Houston-One Wish

447-Whitney Houston-Try It On My Own

441-Wyclef Jean-The Preacher`s Son

20089-Yaga Y Makie-Clase Aparte

10077-Yogacharya Swami Kripalvanandji-Premdhara 3 & 4 - U.S. & India Release

20154-Yogacharya Swami Kripalvanandji-Premdhara 5 & 6 - U.S. & India Release

20253-Yogacharya Swami Kripalvanandji-Premdhara 7 & 8 - U.S. & India Release

20270-YoungBloodZ-Ev'rybody Know Me (Explicit)

20271-YoungBloodZ-Ev'rybody Know Me (Edited)

279-YoungBloodZ-Drankin` Patnaz

20086-Yung Wun-The Dirtiest Thirstiest (Explicit)

20087-Yung Wun-The Dirtiest Thirstiest (Edited)

Posted by: zapkitty | November 18, 2005 1:07 AM | Report abuse

A couple of thoughts: Sony is already having trouble selling TVs. Does anybody feel motivated to go out and buy a high-end Sony right now?

And one of the key elements of the blocking technique was to make it tough to copy things to an iPod. This wasn't all about protection, it was as much about market share.

But for some strange reason, they didn't do a version to run on Macs, when even Linux was targeted.

Posted by: Michael M | November 18, 2005 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Sony really screwed up. This is yet another incentive to not buy music on CD (e.g. download - legally or illegally.) Popular music isn't that great anyway - certainly not this trouble.

Posted by: Anthony | November 18, 2005 5:55 AM | Report abuse

What is wrong with Sony? Are they
incapable of learning from prior
transgressions? Or; perhaps Sony has
institutionalized a culture where:

- Air-play payola is not wrong.
- Forging movie reviews, is not wrong.
- Rootkits are not wrong.
- Infringing on the copyrights of others, is not wrong.
- Serial lying by executives, is not wrong.

Do Sony's wilfull decisions simply represent their attempt to gain an
unfair advantage? Or; perhaps Sony is simply running in-place and trying to keep up with their competition ... the industry dullard playing the game so poorly that they are simply the first to be apprehended?

Sony began all this in March. Why did the anti-virus industry not find Sony's rootkit? Did Sony collude with the anti-virus industry so that their rootkit would not be reported? (As C|net reported, but has subsequently yanked. The article names Symantec ... and lives in the Google cache.)

-doug

Posted by: Doug R. | November 18, 2005 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for getting attention onto the bigger problem of Sony/Sunncomm. As the posts show this is already much more "in the wild" than XCP: about 250 different albums, if we exclude Canadian versions as double counting.

Two points: can we Mac users stop being so smug (we're not so stupid as to load this!). This is in effect a social engineering malware exploit, and many, particulary new generation, iPod halo, Mac users will see little odd in a request from a major and respected company to load a little program or two to allow them to access (possibly some additional clever tracks) on their new CD - which of course isn't a CD, but journalists keep referring to them as CDs for some reason. We need to know precisely what it does to Macs as well: I don't like the idea of someone messing at kernel level.

Second, Amazon seems to have picked up on the downside risk of all this to retailers, with a full refund offer, and in most cases the fact that these as not standard CDs is explicit on Amazon. Not so in your local CD store, as far as I am aware. How about a campiagn to force bricks and mortar retailers to sell these non-CDs in separate, clearly labelled racks. There is a basic level consumer protection issue here.

Posted by: TomCS | November 18, 2005 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for getting attention onto the bigger problem of Sony/Sunncomm. As the posts show this is already much more "in the wild" than XCP: about 250 different albums, if we exclude Canadian versions as double counting.

Two points: can we Mac users stop being so smug (we're not so stupid as to load this!). This is in effect a social engineering malware exploit, and many, particulary new generation, iPod halo, Mac users will see little odd in a request from a major and respected company to load a little program or two to allow them to access (possibly some additional clever tracks) on their new CD - which of course isn't a CD, but journalists keep referring to them as CDs for some reason. We need to know precisely what it does to Macs as well: I don't like the idea of someone messing at kernel level.

Second, Amazon seems to have picked up on the downside risk of all this to retailers, with a full refund offer, and in most cases the fact that these as not standard CDs is explicit on Amazon. Not so in your local CD store, as far as I am aware. How about a campiagn to force bricks and mortar retailers to sell these non-CDs in separate, clearly labelled racks. There is a basic level consumer protection issue here.

Posted by: TomCS | November 18, 2005 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Michael M

"But for some strange reason, they didn't do a version to run on Macs, when even Linux was targeted."

No, no... you're not supposed to smoke that worm in the bottle ;)

Linux was not targeted.

Macintosh malware, however, IS included in the Sunncomm Mediamax DRM. It's just that this "Mac-enhanced content" is not automatically shoved down the users throat... tho no doubt Sony would if they could.

The current Sony-sponsored Mac-oriented malware in the Sunncomm Mediax DRM installs new kernel extensions into your Mac if you're... unbright... enough to give it permission.

http://www.macintouch.com/newsrecent.shtml

For the moment it seems that it's included in the DRM just so that Sunncomm can cackle insanely that "We'll get those PC's, and their little Macs too!" in its sales pitch to corporations.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 18, 2005 11:02 AM | Report abuse

... "As The Stomach Turns" ...

... our own little soap opera, brought to you by Sony/BMG/F4I ... every day for the past 2 weeks I've tuned in to see the latest antics by those crafty little cretins, and I have to say, if they'd replace Thomas Hesse with Susan Lucci, their ratings would go way up ! ...

... This is a self-inflicted wound on their part, but we may as well rub a little salt in it, while it's still festering ...

... I doubt First4Internet will be doing a lot of business this Holiday Season, but I really hope that they find some Copyright Lawsuits under their tree, and they really should be banned from writing, stealing and releasing code until they learn how ...

... I empathize with the Artists that continue to get the candy-cane shaft from Sony/BMG, but I'd love to see a noticeable drop in disc sales this Shopping Season, at the very least a drop in Copy-Protected discs (and someone should start keeping track of that stat, maybe a wise retailer or two) ...

... and here's hoping that, in another week or two, as the first wave of outrage starts to ebb, that someone/anyone from Sony/BMG will step up and, in their grand tradition, [b]Say Something Else Really Stupid[/b] to fan the embers and keep the P R train rollin' ... based on past performance I have every confidence they will ...

... tell your friends and family to speak up with their Holiday wallets - there are a LOT of choices this year that WON'T trash your computer ...

... f w i w ...

Posted by: Bill | November 18, 2005 12:06 PM | Report abuse

... "As The Stomach Turns" ...

... our own little soap opera, brought to you by Sony/BMG/F4I ... every day for the past 2 weeks I've tuned in to see the latest antics by those crafty little cretins, and I have to say, if they'd replace Thomas Hesse with Susan Lucci, their ratings would go way up ! ...

... This is a self-inflicted wound on their part, but we may as well rub a little salt in it, while it's still festering ...

... I doubt First4Internet will be doing a lot of business this Holiday Season, but I really hope that they find some Copyright Lawsuits under their tree, and they really should be banned from writing, stealing and releasing code until they learn how ...

... I empathize with the Artists that continue to get the candy-cane shaft from Sony/BMG, but I'd love to see a noticeable drop in disc sales this Shopping Season, at the very least a drop in Copy-Protected discs (and someone should start keeping track of that stat, maybe a wise retailer or two) ...

... and here's hoping that, in another week or two, as the first wave of outrage starts to ebb, that someone/anyone from Sony/BMG will step up and, in their grand tradition, [b]Say Something Else Really Stupid[/b] to fan the embers and keep the P R train rollin' ... based on past performance I have every confidence they will ...

... tell your friends and family to speak up with their Holiday wallets - there are a LOT of choices this year that WON'T trash your computer ...

... f w i w ...

Posted by: Bill | November 18, 2005 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The companies that have come down on the side of the new Blu-Ray technology should really examine their position. They might find themselves defending themselves from some future transgression. It seems that many CEOs are not able to understand the technology behind these things and their far-reaching influences.
It's almost enough to send me back to the movie theaters, except that they will bore me with their endless trailers and local advertisements. Everything is being done for money or "for the stackholders" which is really saying the same thing.

Posted by: Peter L Nelson | November 19, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

REAL'S RHAPSODY INSTALLATION, ANOTHER SECURITY PROBLEM.

The installation of Real's Rhapsody requires that the user disable their firewall for an extended period of time.

The installation software instructs users to disable their firewall during installation. I did so, but installation repeatedly stalled at the "Downloading and Installing Components" stage. I suppose if I kept my firewall disabled for three hours, Rhapsody might have eventually installed, but I was not willing to do that. As it was, I kept my firewall disabled for about 30 minutes, and Rhapsody never installed. (Installation stopped at around 85%)

Posted by: John Johnson | November 20, 2005 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for giving significant information.
I regret this very much as a Japanese.
Mysteriously, major media of Japan do not have treated this.
Is not this intentionally reported?

Posted by: From2chJP | December 2, 2005 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company