20060719

Sony BMG Rootkit Saga

I'm sure that by now some of you have heard of the Sony BMG Rootkit Saga. If not, here's a basic primer:
Sony BMG, a major record label, published a number of music CDs which enclosed the XCP-Aurora software. Said software (which you couldn't effectively avoid installing), was later discovered to be a rootkit. What is a rootkit, you ask? Why, it's a type of software which illicitly gains system-level access to your computer. Admin functions rapidly become available to it. It can, within a short period of time, do nearly anything to your computer, and so can anyone who knows how to manipulate it properly. The one enclosed with the Sony CDs was nearly impossible to remove.

Attempts to remove it resulted in a lawsuit against Sony, leading to a settlement entitling the users to a clean copy of the CD, a check, and three free album downloads in the format and from the source of their choice. Attempts to contact Sony to retrieve such, or to retrieve the cure for the rootkit, proved nearly useless, as Sony was completely unproductive, repeatedly issuing "fixes" which aggravated the problem, as well as harrassing customers to a certain extent. Customer Service certainly was not a highlight of this adventure.

For a detailed account of one customer's experience, go here [Perfect Porridge].

After this, I counsel against buying anything from Sony, least of all music. I do believe they've lost our trust in such matters.

Savvy?

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