Beware Sony CDs on your PCs

From a buddy:

There have been some threads about this on Audio Asylum and the Washington Post has an excellent article on this abomination. It's serious; Sony CDs install a poorly written piece of malware on your computer without telling you (the incompetent jackass who seems to have written it, one Ceri Coburn of First4Internet, had to ask for help from a Windows programming email list last year). The DRM malware uses CPU resources all the time even when you're
not playing the Sony CD, and it cloaks itself so deep in Windows that anti - virus software can't find it. Even worse, the trick it uses to hide itself opens up an avenue for viruses to hide from anti - virus tools too. One post
on CNet sums up the issue this way: "Highly invasive software that can corrupt Windows was installed by Sony without the user's knowledge or permission. The software is hidden, extremely low level, and impossible to remove by any malware tools. Normal use of the computer can cause Windows' devices to become inaccessible, forcing the user to reformat and reinstall Windows." Sony's "fix" is merely a patch that uncloaks the DRM code so it shows up in your registry, but doesn't remove the damn thing or fix its defects. And the DRM code blows up the beta test version of the next generation of Windows. Its completely unconscionable for Sony to have done this.
This is very upsetting news. Do you have any idea when this program was added to their cds (ie, are older cds "safe"? Thanks very much.
No surprise...Sony has no conscience and never has. If you need proof of that, count up how many artists Sony destroyed (and you will never get to hear) by buying out smaller labels and discarding everyone except the single artist they were after in the first place. In the not-too-distant past, independent music labels and the smaller scale artists they support were endangered species on the brink of extinction thanks, in large part, to Sony. This is why I refuse to support them financially in anything they do. Luckily for us, the internet gained in popularity enough to give smaller labels the cost-efficient exposure they so desperately needed to stay afloat among the mega-corporate rapists. This is just Sony's latest abomination, this time in the 'guise of preventing copyright violation. BS! Incidentally, several firms are considering legal action against them over this issue. It seems that they went too far this time and crossed the legal line.
They have offered a "fix," but here's what one commenter said about the patch:

The update is more than 3.5 megabytes in size, and it appears to contain new versions of almost all the files included in the initial installation of the entire DRM system, as well as creating some new files. In short, they’re not just taking away the rootkit-like function — they’re almost certainly adding things to the system as well. And once again, they’re not disclosing what they’re doing.

There's a good reason to run with a mac. I doubt that it would run on anything but a windows machine. Windows users are subject to way more viruses than mac users are.
Apparently it is fairly recent. From my quick read, it only installs if you use the media player on the CD. If you look at the CD listing on Amazon, it should say [Copy Protected Content] under the main title. Here's more info:
Are you talking about blank cdr's or commercialy recorded cd's
That makes me want to sell my Sony DVD player. That is absolutely terrible to attack a mans computer.
Hey, let's send these back to
Send everyone the infected file/s with a huge warning to not open. Then we can all email sony tech support and give them their files back?

you are 100% correct,i will never buy another windows computer in my life,its gotten so damm bad with windows that just about everything on the net is infected with some sort of adware or malware directed twords all windows applications.

my next pc will be a mac!

I buy my CD's. I pay full price.
In the last years I didnt bought any Sony or EMI CD's because of their idiot "Copy Protected Content". The sound is worse, and sometimes the transports do not read them. A friend of mine had for a home audition a Plinius CD, and all was cool until he put one of those "Copy Protected Content" CD. The player tried to read the TOC over and over again, and failed, and never played again. The player became uncontrollable and could not even eject the disc.
It trashed is weekend, he didnt bought the player and lost a disc.
These companies are shooting their foots.

Unfortunately the Rudy Van Gelder edition have became "Copy Protected Content" CD's.
By the way, a great way to avoid adware-Go to and install Mozilla. Use this instead of IE. It will even import your settings from IE but virtually no pop-ups or problems. After that, go to, follow the link to and install adaware. Run this once a week and you will be golden.
Yes Firefox is as wonderful as this Sony stuff is weird.
I wanted to say long live analog but this from today:

"In an effort to encourage consumers to embrace digital content, The Electronic Frontier Foundation is fighting a bill that would restrict owners of analog devices from recording analog content. For instance, if a fan wishes to tape a Baseball game on his VCR, the VCR would re-encode the content of that game and convert it into a digital form, which would then be filled with right restrictions and so forth. The process would be driven by VRAM (Veil Rights Assertion Mark), a technology that stamps analog content with DRM schemes."
Does anyone know when this evil deed became effective?
Firefox is good, but the other answer is never executing something you don't trust. I've never trusted the content companies, so I have never executed any of the CD extra material on the discs I've gotten.
Where's a Class Action Attorney when you actually need one?

Whatever happened to freedom for the average guy ?
It doesn't install the DRM or the RootKit unless you execute the data software that comes with the CD. I think this is the same sort of copy protection that Sony has on the recently released Chris Botti. For computer users that take proper precautions the RootKit won't be able to install. I've never had a copy protected CD that I couldn't rip but the first one will be the last one.
Required reading on how it was discovered and what the a rootkit allows for....

How to remove it, not just patch it to make it visible! Removal is not for the faint at heart.. Sony is offering a removal Active X component if you go to their site and request removal but you have to provide your email address, product you bought, and where.

Also in the long thread users of AnyDVD software prevents the infections. Disable autostart on your CD/DVD players.

Isobuster was also mentioned.. I wonder whether EAC would do the same thing... for free???

For Linux users cdParanoia can extract out the audio tracts so you can play your music you bought without installing device drivers..

Sony artists won't be getting my $$$
More follow up, including a response purportedly from F4I, the creators of the rootkit. And possible legal actions.

Apparently this DRM has been around a while. I ran RKR on my computer and came up clean, a recommended step if you run Windows...
Sony really screwed itself on this one. Here's a link to a good article giving and overview and an update of the situation. Several class action lawsuits are in the works.
AnyDVD will prevent the installing of the rootkit because all the songs will be visible and useable with all your normal players.. another option against the SONY DRM