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· Banned
10,931 Posts
I wonder when will they understand that copyprotection dosn't prevent piracy, the hardcore pirates will have already found a way to get around it while actual customers get screwed by it, I wonder will the next step for copyprotection be copyprotection that stops you from playing competitors cds or laws that requires ear implants that somehow stop you from hearing thier music or anything at all unless you pay them lots of money

· Banned
10,931 Posts
I forgot to mention that copyprotection is going to make more pirates not reduce it, when DRM gets in the way of user enloyment it will drive people to piracy just like the case with a few starforce protected games where they are concerned about piracy so they implemented starforce and screwed a few people out and made them pirate the game, besides developing and implementing copyprotection and therefore will either jack the price up or lower the quality of a product due to the additional money needed to develop or license the copyprotection scheme

· Banned
10,931 Posts
Well, I have a few copy-protected audio CDs and all of them have one thing in common:

I can play them in Winamp easily, yes, even my Windows Media Player has no problems with them. Only my Stereo won't play them...
How ironic that music CDs that were ment to be played in a stereo system dosn't work in a stereo system

· Banned
10,931 Posts
Sony Rootkit CD providers!

As stated on the story: Sony DRM Installs a Rootkit, it seems that some of Sony's disks install a rootkit on your system after you try to listen them on your PC.

Why does it matter?

A rootkit is A type of Trojan that keeps itself, other files, registry keys and network connections hidden from detection. It runs at the lowest level of the machine and typically intercepts common API calls."

It is dangerous because hackers and virus writers can use it to help the attacker [hacker] to maintain his or her access to the system and use it for malicious purposes

On this page one of the developers at SysInternals explains what and how is the rootkit installed WITHOUT ASKING YOU when you insert any of the affected AUDIO CD's to play them on your computer running WINDOWS

Which CD's?
I have made a list of the CD's that are "Enhanced" and "Copy Protected" from sony with the XCP copy protection that provides a Rootkit.

It is easy to get an "up to date" list with
this google query.

The list of CD's so far are:
Nothing Is Sound. Switchfoot
Natasha Bedingfield

Shelly Fairchild
Neil Diamond
Sarah McLachlan
Pete Seeger
Gerry Mulligan
Buddy Jewell,
Bob Brookmeyer
Our Lady Peace
The Invisible Invasion [CONTENT/COPY-PROTECTED CD]
Coral, The Coral
Amici Forever
The Bad Plus
Dexter Gordon
Celine Dion

Get Right with the Man [CONTENT/COPY-PROTECTED CD]
Van Zant
Chris Botti
Ricky Martin
A Static Lullaby

Susie Suh

George Jones

Life of Agony
Horace Silver
My Morning Jacket
The Dead 60s

What Can I do?
It is important to note that if you have tried to listen any of the above mentioned CD's your computer may have the rootkit installed. Hence, your system may be in danger of being hacked.

If you feel outraged because of this, you can write to the artists and complain about the problem. Tell them that their CD breaks your system as it opens a security hole.

If you think that there are other CD's which should be on this list please feel free to list them in a comment, also if you think any of the listed CD's DOES NOT actually have this problem please also state it in a comment.

Thank you!.
here is the removal tool for any victims:

Sony BMG rootkit hides Warden hackers
Two stories merge in bizarre twist
TWO STORIES of the week have spectacularly merged today. Apparently hackers are using the Sony BMG rootkit cloaking system to cover up their cheating on Blizzard's World of Warcraft, by hiding from Warden.

Warden, which is designed to monitor cheating in the game was named by electronic freedom group as major spyware.

Apparently all the hackers have to do to hide from Warden is buy a Sony BMG copy protected CD.

Warden, the anti-cheating program cannot detect any files that are hidden with Sony BMG's content protection, which only requires that the hacker add the prefix "$sys$" to file names.

More here. µ
unfortunately I seem to be having trouble acessing
to give you news directly from the source

· Banned
10,931 Posts
How the MPAA killed the movie theater experience: a first-hand report

How the MPAA killed the movie theater experience: a first-hand report

[I'd be glad to share other experiences, or a reply from the MPAA should
they choose to send one along. --Declan]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: MPAA kills movie experience.
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 11:22:20 -0500 (EST)
From: James Reid <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]

Hi Declan,

My girlfriend and I are writers here in Toronto and
I thought I'd share this, as if you needed evidence
that privacy abuses are out of hand, here's our
completely insane experience with the MPAA from
last night.


I wonder what kind of dystopian cyberpunk
future we live in when you are physically
searched before entering a movie theatre.

Last night (November 3rd), my girlfriend brought me
along to see a screening of Derailed at the Paramount
theatre in Toronto, which she had to
review for a magazine she works for. The lineup
for the screening was unusually long, as I think
they also fill seats at press screenngs with radio
call-in winners, who in hindsight, might have
accepted such poor treatment in exchange for
the ostensible privilege of paying for $30 worth
of parking and fast food at a free $13 movie.

Anyway, the line was moving slowly because they were asking
customers to raise their arms so that they could be
electronically frisked with a metal detector, and
women's purses were being searched by uniformed
security guards. Try to remember that this is
Toronto, Canada we're talking about here, not
New York, Tel Aviv or London.

People who submitted to the search (everyone from
what I could tell) had their cellphones taken from
them and checked at a table set up in front of
the theatre and they were given a ticket to reclaim
it when they left.

I was having none of this, and checked
the back of my ticket stub to ensure that there
was no mention of being required to submit to a
search listed as a condition of sale. As my girlfriend
and I made it to the front of the line, the guard
looked at me and asked me to raise my arms for the
search. I politely declined saying "No, thank
you", and proceeded to the ticket taker. I could hear
him calling "Sir! Sir!" behind me, but even though
I slowed my pace in case he was really going to do
something about it, as I had expected, I wasn't

The ticket taker took my ticket and I waited for my
girlfriend just inside the gate, as her purse was
being subjected to a thorough going through by one
of the guards.

Since she was there for work, and her deadline was
that night, she was not ready to risk not seeing the
movie. Her 150 words won't have room for what
happened next.

Her phone was taken from her and put in a sealed
plastic bag with a claim ticket, and she
joined me where I was waiting, past the gate, and
we walked into the theatre together.

To add further insult to the debacle at the
gate, near the exits at stage right and left
were two uniformed security guards at each door,
all four with video cameras scanning the crowd
and making themselves very conspicuous.

This was not just a bit of pre-show MPAA theatre,
they stood there for the entirity of the movie, red
LED's glowing, scanning the crowd to remind
us that we were under close surviellence and our
actions were being recorded.

If you have sat in a chair in a dark room watching
disturbing scenes unfold in front of you, while four
uniformed people with video cameras stand in front
of your, silently recording your reactions, you might
be reminded of scenarios from a Clockwork Orange,
Brazil, 1984, Videodrome, and strangely,
that 90's relic: SFW.

Security guards regularly use handheld video
cameras to harrass and intimidate people,
particularly during political rallies and protests,
as the guards know that the cameras carry with
them a clear implication of future retribution
against those being recorded. The cameras are
quite literally, a threat.

( The threat is that if you do not behave as
the camera holder asks, the recording of your
actions will be used to persecute or discrace you.)

Upon leaving the theatre, my girlfriend and I
had to stop at the security desk to claim her
phone, which involved them searching through a
pile of bagged cellphones for the correct one.
We took another moment to turn the phone on
and wait for signal in the threatre to validate
that we in fact had the correct phone.

My girlfriend had said that if she hadn't already
agreed to her deadline, she would have made
a point of walking out of the screening and
giving the PR person a talking to. I did not
confront the camera wielding guards in the
theatre because she was my host she had a job
to do.

Only people who think they have done something
wrong, or deserve to be searched, submit to that
kind of authority, which is why guards get away
with it, and the rest of us continue to be
subjected to it and it becomes "normal".

Anyway, apparently this is Alliance Atlantis'
idea of how to treat an audience, then I for
one can certainly live without seeing any of
their films, and we will be skipping movies
at the Paramount theatre. I also know that
at least one reviewer will also be seeing
her movies elsewhere too.

I would also say that this is further evidence
that movie studios are losing revenue because
of the increasingly poor movie-going experience
and general low-quality of the movies they are
making, as after this, I can certainly undertstand
why someone would prefer to watch a movie on their
14 inch screen than suffer the indignity of a multiplex.
This may be a little off topic but after reading that I can see kids buying a music cd from them and needing a security guard following them home watching thier every move and installing monitoring equiptment everywhere they go just to make sure they don't "pirate" it

· Banned
10,931 Posts
First of all, if SONY releases an operating system for the PS3, it will definitely NOT be Windows which seems to be especially vulnerable to rootkits due to its API system. It'll more likely be a Linux distribution which can be easily patched against stuff like that. Furthermore such a Linux disribution (similar to the PS2 Linux Kit) might be built by SONY themselves, making it possible to integrate such crap directly into the OS kernel. Again, this should be no problem to patch.
You do realise we already said SONY is going to be using GUNU/linux on the PS3 HD and they are the ones who use rootkits on thier own music CDs right? therefore it's more likely they have this kind of crapware copyprotection built in to the PS3 hardware and the PS3 OS, there is a good chance that the ps3 will also have some kind of DRM mechinism that reports back to SONY or some other greedy bastards everytime you play a "personalrightsprotected"(I am making a new term that will hopefully spread around here, it means it stops you from using your right to copy, rip or even play your cds in certain devices) CD/DVD/BRD(Blue Ray Disc)

Last, but not least, why should they even bother with crap like that? I suppose that they'll integrate such mechanisms directly in the BIOS, so in the end you will again have to chip your console in order to circumvent that DRM crap.
It could be intergrated into the CPU and other components making it harder to crack than a simple modchip

If the copyprotection system is something like using bad sectors like the PS2 or early securom it's fine by me but if it installs crap like starforce or this SONY copyprotection I am boycotting it

· Banned
10,931 Posts
First Trojan using Sony DRM spotted

First Trojan using Sony DRM spotted

Virus writers have begun taking advantage of Sony-BMG's use of rootkit technology in DRM software bundled with its music CDs.

Sony-BMG's rootkit DRM technology masks files whose filenames start with "$sys$". A newly-discovered variant of of the Breplibot Trojan takes advantage of this to drop the file "$sys$drv.exe" in the Windows system directory.

"This means, that for systems infected by the Sony DRM rootkit technology, the dropped file is entirely invisible to the user. It will not be found in any process and file listing. Only rootkit scanners, such as the free utility RootkitRevealer, can unmask the culprit," warns Ivan Macalintal, a senior threat analyst at security firm Trend Micro

The malware arrives attached in an email, which pretends to come from a reputable business magazine, asking the businessman to verify his/her "picture" to be used for the December issue. If the malicious payload contained in this email is executed then the Trojan installs an IRC backdoor on affected Windows systems.

Romanian anti-virus firm BitDefender confirms that the malware is in the wild but a full technical analysis of the Trojan is yet to be completed. The response of anti-virus firms, some of which have only promised to flag up rather than block system changes made by Sony-BMG's rootkit, remains unclear. ®

How could I miss this and not post it for so long?

· Banned
10,931 Posts
Honestly, I've stopped caring what happens with Windows users and their programs. Either Microsoft will take a hard stance against this, or they will openly embrace it (though at the moment, it appears they are openly embracing it).
As far as I know Microsoft ahs announced to make a windows update against it, somehow I don't see that as embracing it

· Banned
10,931 Posts
Malicious Website: Sony Uninstaller Exploits

Malicious Website: Sony Uninstaller Exploits

[font=Arial, Helvetica]Websense® Security Labs™ has received reports of websites that are using the Sony DRM uninstaller as a means to perform malicious actions on end user machines.[/font]

[font=Arial, Helvetica]Security researchers discovered that the recently released Sony DRM uninstaller included a COM object that it dropped on the machine in order to uninstall the highly publicized rootkit that gets installed as part of some Sony Music DRM software. The COM objects are not removed after installation and leave the machine open to malicious websites using them as an attack vector.[/font]

[font=Arial, Helvetica]Websense Security Labs added detection mechanisms to its data classification and internet mining techniques soon after discovery of the possible vulnerability was reported. Although we have not seen many sites to date, the potential for sites using this to exploit end users is high.[/font]

[font=Arial, Helvetica]The included site example infects users when they visit the website. Any user who has downloaded and run the Sony uninstaller program is susceptible to this attack. In the example below, users' machine are restarted upon accessing the site. However, there is the potential for more nefarious actions to have been done.[/font]
Don't use thier uninstaller, it's easier and probaly less painful just to reinstall windows

· Banned
10,931 Posts
Gigs & Bytes:The Rootkit Of All Evil?

Gigs & Bytes:
The Rootkit Of All Evil?

A major label's latest attempt to protect its music from pirates has become a major problem for Sony BMG Music Entertainment – a problem that has sparked at least two class action suits, forced the label to recall CDs by as many as 50 artists, and may result in states bringing charges against the record label.
Sony's problems started October 31st when computer security researcher Mark Russinovich posted an item on his blog detailing how he had discovered a "rootkit" on his computer.
Rootkits are generally employed to hide files and programs, and are usually used in tandem with Internet worms and other nasty computer viruses. Furthermore, rootkits can enable someone to take control of a machine without the owner's permission. In short, a rootkit is malware.
And what's Sony BMG's connection to the rootkit Russinovich found on his computer? As Russinovich detailed on his blog, it turns out that the rootkit in question came from copy protection technology called XCP, which was created by United Kingdom company Van Zant's Get Right With The Man.
But XCP does more than prevent unauthorized copying. It also deposits hidden files on computers running Microsoft's Windows operating systems. The files are extremely difficult to find and even more difficult to remove, as Russinovich found out when he tried to manually remove them, only to discover his actions disabled his CD drive.
What's more, the XCP copy protection program does this covertly.
There's a word for programs placed on a computer without the owner's permission, programs that function in a way unbeknownst to the user: spyware. Furthermore, some states, such as California, have laws prohibiting spyware. It's conceivable that Sony could find itself in the legal cross-hairs of more than one state's attorney general.
But Sony's use of technology that placed rootkits on computers was only part of the problem. Rootkits are generally used to hide files that allow a third party to gain control of the machine. And, as news of Sony's blunder grew, so did the number of viruses suddenly appearing on the Net that took advantage of the XCP rootkit.
When news first surfaced, Sony BMG tried to minimize the damage by having its president of global digital business talk to the press. However, Thomas Hesse didn't inspire too much consumer confidence when he appeared on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and said, "Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"
That was November 4th. Now it appears just about everyone who buys CDs cares about it, and Sony is just now discovering music consumers aren't all that crazy about virtually unremovable files on their computers.
As news of the rootkit spread, Sony issued a patch for removing the rootkit, but not the actual files placed on consumers' computers. However, some security experts are saying the patch only worsened the problem.
"This is a surprisingly bad design from a security standpoint," said Princeton University computer science professor Ed Felten, who, along with grad student J. Alex Halderman, explored the removal program issued by Sony. "It endangers users in several ways."
According to Felten, the program enabling the download does not confirm that the uninstall program should come from either Sony or First 4 Internet, thereby making the computer vulnerable to virus attacks.
"The consequences of the flaw are severe," Felten and Halderman posted on a blog on November 15th. "It allows any Web page you visit to download, install, and run any code it likes on your computer. Any Web page can seize control of your computer; then it can do anything it likes. That's about as serious as a security flaw can get."
Sony has recalled the CDs embedded with the XCP antipiracy technology, and has released a list identifying which discs are affected. Included on that list are CDs by Neil Diamond, Our Lady Peace, Celine Dion and, of course, Van Zant.
It should be noted that not all copy-protected CDs use First 4 Internet's technology, and consumers should not confuse First 4 Internet's XCP copy protection methods with those employed by other antipiracy companies such as digital rights management company Sunncomm. In other words, read the label before you buy.
Sony BMG really dug itself a deep one this time, and it may be months before the label can crawl out of the mess caused by First 4 Internet's XCP copy protection. Not only have two class action suits been filed, but there have been calls for a Sony boycott. Consumer trust in Sony has been almost completely eradicated and there are now reports that some companies are considering prohibiting their employees from playing CDs in the workplace.
Plus, when you consider that government employees, including members of the military, might play CDs on their computers, Sony's rootkit debacle is probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better. That is, if it gets better.
While not referring to Sony by name, Homeland Security assistant secretary for policy Stewart Baker did have some harsh words for labels that protect their music by installing hidden files on computers.
"It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property, it's not your computer," Baker said during a conference on, ironically, intellectual property piracy. "And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days."
When you consider all the implications – making computers vulnerable to virus attacks, placing hidden files on consumers' machines and generating more bad press in two weeks than most companies accrue in a lifetime, what were the execs at Sony thinking when they greenlighted First 4 Internet's XCP copy protection technology?
That is, if they were thinking at all.
now even the department of homeland security is getting involved, (insert terrorism joke here)

· Banned
10,931 Posts
Just a head's up:
DON'T try to uninstall the XCP using thier website, it just installa a new version of XCP and creates a few more security holes, don't even bother visiting thier website it may automaticly decide to install the XCP on your computer

Garnter: piece of tape defeats any CD DRM

The controversial XCP digital rights management technology that Sony BMG bundled on 52 of its audio CDs can easily be defeated by applying a small piece of tape to the discs, analyst firm Gartner claimed.

Applying a piece of opaque tape to the outer edge of the disk renders the data track of the CD unreadable. A computer trying to play the CD will then skip to the music session without accessing the bundled digital rights management technology.

"After more than five years of trying, the recording industry has not yet demonstrated a workable DRM scheme for music CDs," Gartner concluded in a newly published research note.

The tape methodology will help users defeat any future digital rights management system on audio CDs that are designed to be played on stand-alone CD player.

Gartner predicted that the music industry will start a lobby seeking legislation that requires computer makers to include digital rights management technology on their systems. But it advised that, instead of limiting what users can do with music they purchased, record labels should focus on tracking them. This would enable a "play-based" model where users are charge a fee based on how they consumer music.

Sony earlier this month abandoned the use of the XCP anti piracy technology after weeks of heavy criticism from security experts and consumer advocates. The technology sought to prevent users from making illegal copies of the music on Windows computers, but posed a major security risk and could break the computer of users trying to remove the software.

Gartner called the DRM scheme both a "public relations and technology failure ".
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