More rootkits, compliments of Sony.
For those just joining, there’s more on Sony and rootkits here.
Sony decided it would be a really neat idea to install destructive, impossible to remove without reformatting, rootkits on their CDs. They were curious as to what people listened to, and how. It didn’t work out well.
But there is a silver-lining here, at least for Sony. They’ve settled with two states for a paltry $1.5 million, and it sounds like bureaucrats have set up the standard hoops aflame for you to jump through to see if you are entitled to any of the dough.
I wonder just how many people had their computers trashed before the rootkit fiasco went public…
Sony’s rootkit debacle didn’t turn out that bad for them after all. Despite the lawyers jumping on the opportunity and Microsoft putting the product on its spyware list, the company comes out smelling like a rose (at least if your nose is that of a shareholder).
The settlement – if you jump through hoops, joining the class group and getting on a list, you get a free CD and a few restricted downloads. Wow!
Some people likely spent days (if not weeks) cleaning up systems as a result of this issue – lots of lost productivity and likely lots of lost money. A new CD? Some folks are pissed. I ask “what did you expect?”
Rootkits, a stealth technology for hiding files on systems, was not long ago a relatively unknown quantity. But Sony BMG changed all that (like a scary movie). Quickly, rootkits popped up in other places (like the bedroom closet).
According to a just released report from McAfee, rootkit use is on the rise. Don’t look under the bed.
Like I said, I am getting more spam than ever (despite CAN-SPAM), so I have to withhold all comment, as the result is likely beyond my imagination.
Either history is going to start repeating itself in internet time, or some people are just plain stupid. Despite the hammering Sony has taken over the rootkit fiasco, someone decided to put more of the same on a popular DVD.
The rooting is going on within the German edition of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (you know, the one where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt shoot each other up on stage, then hook up in the dressing room).
Luckily, it isn’t on the US (region 1, english) version, at least not yet. The lawyers aren’t as quick to the punch in Germany as they are in America.
I love it when folks state the obvious. In this case though, they do go into some technical details to balance their argument, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. Sony may be in legal trouble? No way!
The zero-hour threat (a concept by which computer threats are spread before security firms find out about it) should be the least of people’s worries. Anti-virus firms have admitted they can’t catch things like Sony’s rootkit, because they just don’t know about them.
The fact of the matter is, rootkits are designed with stealth in mind. The security set needs to get away from the “definition” method, whereby they develop “antidotes” for known threats (and require you constantly update your machine’s definition database), and start thinking along the lines of behavior identification (like your pathetic spam filter).
Sony is in some hot water over the revelations regarding its rootkits and their affect on Windows machines. Now MacInTouch is saying the rootkit issue may affect Macs as well.
Of course only a less-than-self-aware Mac user would just run any old app called Start.app, agree to a EULA after typing in an admin password, and let it fly. I am glad I know myself so well, but still I hope it isn’t true.