Sony's CD rootkit fiasco marks its inglorious tenth anniversary
This is one product anniversary that Sony in all probability needs you to overlook. It is the tenth anniversary of safety researcher (now CTO for Microsoft Azure) Mark Russinovich publishing particulars of the Sony BMG rootkit, a CD copy safety system that compromised the safety of Home windows PCs and was close to-unimaginable to securely uninstall. The music label was initially dismissive, nevertheless it quickly needed to change its tune — it paid tens of millions to settle costs and recalled legions of discs. To prime issues off, the invention made Sony a punching bag for anybody sad with digital rights administration (DRM) and different heavy-handed makes use of of copyright.
Have issues improved a lot within the decade because the incident? Sure and no. Sony did again away from invasive anti-copying code, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than even downloadable music got here DRM-free. Nevertheless, restrictive copy safety definitely hasn’t gone away. If something, the rise of streaming providers (the place you do not personal copies of the content material) has made it extra commonplace. And, as Lenovo can attest, corporations will sometimes bundle insecure software program that creates extra issues than it solves. If the tech business has discovered something, it is that you simply should not deliberately hack your clients to maintain them trustworthy — their safety and belief are extra necessary than misplaced gross sales.
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