Now after the huge Sony BMG Rootkit fiasco, this has become quite a hot topic, how far can vendors go to enforce their ‘Digital Rights Management’ (or Digital Restrictions Management as we like to call it), can they install a rootkit on your machine and hook into your OS? Can they take over your PC just so they can check you aren’t pirating their music?
Thankfully the US government has taken this matter into consideration and is considering banning DRM rootkits.
US government officials are considering introducing legislation if companies continue to distribute copy-protection measures that compromise computer security.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Border and Transportation Security Directorate warning followed the discovery last year that Sony BMG employed two different types of digital rights management (DRM) on music CDS sold in the US and both installed rootkit software on PCs that made them vulnerable.
The Sony Case did indeed cause a massive storm and raised quite a large anti-Sony sentiment.
Sony has begun compensating customers who inadvertently installed the rootkit by inserting the affected CDs into PCs. However the swathes of bad publicity that it received over the whole affair have not deterred others. F-Secure reports that German DVD of the Mr & Mrs Smith movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie contains the Settec Alpha-DISC system that installs a user-mode rootkit.
I’m glad the government are taking this seriously.
It does show however how weak the security Architecture is on Windows by default..How many Linux users do you see inserting random CD’s as root?
Source: PC Pro