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Antipiracy software opens door to electronic intruders

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1 Author(s)

This paper discusses how Sony BMG made a big mistake in the production of hundreds of music CDs equipped with a copy protection software known as XCP. The concept of XCP was to block consumers from converting audio files to mp3's, as well as third-party sharing. The CD can be normally played in several audio players, but in the case of using it in a computer, XCP automatically prompts a specific music player to be installed together with a rootkit. The rootkit is designed to hide the existence of any file or folder whose name begins with "$sys$". Through this concept, hackers can hide anything they want. Overall, Sony's aim of stopping piracy was a complete failure. However, Sony came up with a complex multistep process to uninstall the rootkit and unfortunately stopped the production of XCP-protected CDs.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 1 )