Commercial Music CDs May Hide Truly Malicious Software

Though this is not this morning breaking news, the story of the Sony rootkit still surfs many of the top news headlines as it keeps evolving and revealing more of its nasty nature.

What Sony did, was to include within commercial music CDs a hidden malicious software (a rootkit) with the supposed goal of protecting its own interests and preventing illegal use or copying of the included music.

The frustrating issue is that this malicious software is run without the user knowledge or consent – or even against her consent – and if such rootkit infects your computer through a Sony music CD, you would be exposed to high security risks as any capable hacker could gain access to your computer without your knowledge or ability to detect it.

The ever excellent Cory Doctorow has been posting on Boing Boing an omnibus collection of stories documenting and reporting on this story, providing a uniquely useful set of resources to study and understand what really went on with this Sony rootkit, and how the details of the story gradually become available.

I think that this is information that no one should let go by without understanding in full what your traditionally really favourite electronic consumer brand really does to its customers to protect its interests. Over a year ago I reported firsthand what MediaMax had been already doing for a while.

If you don’t read and analyze what the Sony rootkit story brought in terms of showcasing how much of a distance exists today between traditional, large consumer good producers, including record and film companies and me and you, the actual users and customers of these goods.

The distance between the brand image created over many years of mass media marketing is slowly beginning to crumble. The image we hold doesn’t hold to the company we see acting against us, unanswering our calls for transparency, unlistening to our request for greater use of open standards and interoperability, unable to service and communicate to us as if we were indeed the true precious customers it says we are.

And this is why I am excited to bring you once again the good research and editorial work of Cory Doctorow / Boing Boing who has prepared this excellent chronological compilation of the Sony rootkit story.

If you don’t intend to sell yourself into what established content multinationals want to do to your desire and drive to freely share what you buy, go get a good read at this. You’d be sorry if you don’t.

[Read the full annotated chronology of events: The Sony Rootkit Story: Music CDs Hidden Malicious Software Creates Problems For Users While Destroying Sony’s Credibility And Reputation]

[tags]sony,spyware,music,rootkit,commercial cd[/tags]