Friday, November 18, 2005

SonyGate: It gets worse

It seems that Sony has really got itself into hot water about its ill-advised copy protection scheme for its music CD's that used rootkits to install spyware on users' computers. (See previous entry : Sony security blunder .)

In the face of huge condemnation from the security community, Sony announced on Nov 11th that it was temporarily halting production of that copy-protection scheme. But as the revelations of their scheme became uncovered, the pressure grew and on Nov 14th the company announced it was pulling millions of copy-protected CDs from store shelves and offering to replace customers' infected CDs for free.

But Sonygate has now evolved into an epic of class-action lawsuits in California and elsewhere, and the focus of criminal investigations. The rootkit has even been found on computers run by the Department of Defense, to the Department of Homeland Security's displeasure which means Sony theoretically could be prosecuted under U.S. cybercrime law.

And now Microsoft and the big anti-virus companies are coming under fire for allowing millions of computers to become infected since mid 2004 without doing anything about it. They are accused of not treating the rootkit as malicious as it was a multinational corporation that put it on computers and not a criminal organization.

It now appears that at least 568,200 nameservers have witnessed DNS queries related to the rootkit which corresponds to millions of PC's infected worldwide. If you want to see a planetary representation of infected DNS nameservers then see USA , Asia and Europe.

Pretty pictures, but ugly data - welcome to Planet Sony!
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