Sony halts production of 'rootkit' CDs - gHacks Tech News

Sony halts production of 'rootkit' CDs

After lots of controversy about their rootkit music CDs Sony announced today that it will halt the production of rootkit music CDs and won't use it on upcoming CDs as well. It seems that consumer and media backlash finally paid off.

The pressure on Sony increased over the last days with anti-virus companies warning its customers not to install this rootkit software and big companies like Microsoft taking a stand against it as well.

Update: One of the reasons for the backlash was the nature of the technology that Sony used to protect the music from being copied on the Windows operating system. It needs to be noted that the rootkit was only somewhat effective on Windows systems, and that Linux or Mac users could play or copy the music CD just fine without being hindered to do so by the rootkit.

The copy protection, according to Wikipedia, was put on a total of 102 different titles. Users who tried to play the music on their computer running Windows using autoplay would inadvertently install the rootkit on the systems. Sony backed out of the program shortly after the media and public became increasingly aware of what the company did install on user PCs.

Users who unknowingly installed the rootkit on their system faced other dangers. It became known for instance that trojans and other malicious software used the rootkits ability to disguise files to remain undetected on the computer system.

The rootkit furthermore was said to cause all kinds of issues on PC systems, from system crashes to DVD or CD drives not working anymore after the removal of the software from the system.

Sony later on released two rootkit removal programs. The first, highly ineffective at removing the rootkit, and a second after public criticism.

Users interested in the whole story should check Wikimedia's article on the issue. It covers everything from the very beginning to legal consequences.


We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Previous Post: «
Next Post: »


There are no comments on this post yet, be the first one to share your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.

Be polite: we do not allow comments that threaten or harass, or are personal attacks. Please leave politics and religion out of discussions!