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Stories that Bioshock includes a rootkit aren't true

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 26 Aug 2007 18:56 User comments (18)

Stories that Bioshock includes a rootkit aren't true News has been spreading through the gaming community that the PC version of the game Bioshock installs a rootkit on your computer. However, those reports aren't actually correct.
The report seems to have initially come from a website called Gaming Bob, where it was accurately reported that Microsoft's RootkitRevealer software found some suspicious registry entries after Bioshock, using SecuROM protection, was installed.

The problem is that RootkitRevealer doesn't actually identify rootkits. What it does is look for suspicious registry entries that may belong to a rootkit.

According to the SecuROM website, "SecuROM™ will install a Windows™ service module called “User Access Service” (UAService) on your system. This is a standard interface commonly used by several other applications as well. It is no spyware or rootkit at all. This module has been developed to enable users without Windows™ administrator rights the ability to access all SecuROM™ features. Please be assured that this service is installed only for security and convenience purposes. Since it is a standard Windows™ service, you can stop and delete this service, like any other Windows™ service. If deleted, the access for non-administrator users to SecuROM™ protected applications will be affected.

In other words, SecuROM is still a way for software producers to screw with you, but as of right now it's not a rootkit, and given recent public relations nightmares involving rootkits it's not likely to become one in the near future.

Source: Ars Technica

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18 user comments

126.8.2007 21:11

I no longer consent to the distinction.
If it isn't what I paid for, it's unwanted, unwelcome and usually can't be removed without crippling what I bought. Therefore it might as well be a rootkit.

226.8.2007 23:14
WierdName
Inactive

Hmmm, I was considering getting that game but I would have enough problems with compatibility issues with my hardware, rootkit like software would even worse.

327.8.2007 1:38

I was intrigued by the demo, but I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) the full version only works as long as it's activated online and the number of times is strictly limited (was 3 but currently 5 I think) so if like me you reinstall windows now and again, and upgrade/change your PC fairly often, you will have to keep paying the ransome money if you want to keep playing. Nice looking game but all this intrusive drm crap means I'll pass on this thanks.

427.8.2007 3:56

I have purchased many legit PC games. I have yet to register any of them. I personally believe that if I need an internet connection to play a game (other than games specifically made for online gaming) then the game is not worth playing.
There has been times where I had to cut bills and the internet was one of them. If I can no longer play a game that I legitly purchased then I will start to consider no longer purchasing from that manufacturer anymore. If I purchase a game to play on my PC and it requires me to register it online before playing, then right back into the box it goes and back to the store for a refund.
I understand that software developers want to protect their products, but DRM and DRM-like protections are []highly[/] undesired by the consumers.

527.8.2007 5:51

It seems to me such an obviously stupid practice to treat customers with such disrespect. It wont stop the pirates/warez sites who probably have stripped the drm out already. Many people who want to play the game will be tempted to use the pirate versions not because they want to steal but because they want a clean version that doesnt mess with their PC. The rest, like me, who doesn't want drm OR warez will just spend our money elsewhere.

627.8.2007 6:05

Reloaded will probably release this cracked once an update comes out next week, as they usually do.

727.8.2007 7:59

Alright to clear some things up...

1)Their is no rootkit installed by Bioshock. The belief that it was a rootkit was simply a person seeing a few registry entries, blowing things out of propotion, and letting their imagination running wild. To stop the rootkit argument the person who originally discovered the "rootkit" has come back to say he was wrong and the company as well as this news article has explained why it showed up in RootKitRevealer.

2)You can only activate the game 5 times. So if you have 5 home PC's you can legally install it on every PC. When you go to reinstall Windows you must first uninstall Bioshock, as doing so will "unactivate" that computers activation thus giving you back on of your activations. And if you should lose a harddrive a call/email to Securom tech. support can wipe your account giving you back all 5 activations.

3)Bioshock does not need the internet to be played. It simply must register your computer with its servers as one of your five activations. Once activated you no longer need a internet connection.


**In my opinion, this isn't all that bad. It requires less than a minute of your time to register on the server. If your going to bitch and moan about this then why don't you switch over to Linux or Mac OS? Because Microsoft is constantly sending you updates that may take minutes to hours to download depending on there server load and then there patches may cause you system instability. So if a 30 second internet registration is such a waste of your bandwidth/money then dump Windows because it is uses far more of your bandwidth and time with its constant updates.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Aug 2007 @ 8:02

827.8.2007 8:36

Minimal definition of a rootkit is that it installs to a PC hidden from the user,and remains there hidden from the user, sorry sony you fail,how long did it take you to admit you installed rootkits on PCs on your fabulous CDs
first few days,it is not a rootkit.
frist few weeks, it maybe looks like a root kit but it is not.
first few months, ok its a rootkit.

oy,as if thats not bad enough the install "tokens" are far worse.

I do not buy 50$ games with online activation of any kind its unsettling and anti consumer I bought HL2 for 20 and hacked it thusly to remove the unwanted steam from it I will do the same with bioshock,I was days away from importing the collectors edition for 120$ until i found out about the extra crap and now the bugs HA I'd rather not buy the game at all.

927.8.2007 8:48

Originally posted by PeaInAPod:
2)You can only activate the game 5 times. So if you have 5 home PC's you can legally install it on every PC. When you go to reinstall Windows you must first uninstall Bioshock, as doing so will "unactivate" that computers activation thus giving you back on of your activations. And if you should lose a harddrive a call/email to Securom tech. support can wipe your account giving you back all 5 activations.
I really don't care too much about the whole 'rootkit' thing, it's the limit to only being able to activate the game five times. That's what bugs the hell out of me. I'm pretty sure I've installed most of my computer games I've ever owned at least 3 times. All of the good classic ones like Diabo 2 and Quake 2 I know I have installed at least 10 times.

If I had to use an 'uninstall credit utility' each time it would have been a pain in the ass, and if I had to call up Blizzard or ID everytime I wanted to install and play those games, I probably just wouldn't do it.

So I will never buy bioshock, or any game that has a 'limit' on how many times you can install it. Regardless, currently my PC isn't good enough to run bioshock anyway.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Aug 2007 @ 8:49

1027.8.2007 11:30

Actually I think Steam is pretty awesome.

I cannot understand why each developer does not sell games online. In 2007, where I can download Bioshock in 2 hours it's pretty lame to order or go to buy a DVD.

Steam is cheaper, the game you buy is there for you instantly, you can download as many times as you want each game, backup each game on DVDs or another hard disk and even patches (very important as more games are buggy as hell) are applied instantly.

I have bought more than 20 games through Steam (including Bioshock and Lost Planet) and I am very happy with it.

1127.8.2007 12:18

Originally posted by JezQ:
Many people who want to play the game will be tempted to use the pirate versions not because they want to steal but because they want a clean version that doesnt mess with their PC. The rest, like me, who doesn't want drm OR warez will just spend our money elsewhere.
This is exactly what I did when I installed Windows Vista. When I bought a special deal through Intel last winter, I got the 32 and 64 bit versions of Vista Ultimate, but was told I could only activate ONE of them and the other license key would be rendered useless. Not to mention the fact that I could only install Vista (pick one of them) ONCE and if something were to happen to my hardware, or I would upgrade, well, there's money down the drain.

So how do I find out which of the versions supported more of my legacy software, test it out, etc. without "killing off" the other one? Hmm... turn to the OEM activation trick.

So, I technically found a way around Microsoft's shackles. Does that make me an immoral person?

1227.8.2007 13:17

Quote:
Originally posted by PeaInAPod:
2)You can only activate the game 5 times. So if you have 5 home PC's you can legally install it on every PC. When you go to reinstall Windows you must first uninstall Bioshock, as doing so will "unactivate" that computers activation thus giving you back on of your activations. And if you should lose a harddrive a call/email to Securom tech. support can wipe your account giving you back all 5 activations.
I really don't care too much about the whole 'rootkit' thing, it's the limit to only being able to activate the game five times. That's what bugs the hell out of me. I'm pretty sure I've installed most of my computer games I've ever owned at least 3 times. All of the good classic ones like Diabo 2 and Quake 2 I know I have installed at least 10 times.

If I had to use an 'uninstall credit utility' each time it would have been a pain in the ass, and if I had to call up Blizzard or ID everytime I wanted to install and play those games, I probably just wouldn't do it.

So I will never buy bioshock, or any game that has a 'limit' on how many times you can install it. Regardless, currently my PC isn't good enough to run bioshock anyway.
I don't do steam,its rather draconian to force you to sign up to a site in order to play a game you bought from a store offline, however the install token idea is worse.

1327.8.2007 18:14

Quote:
3)Bioshock does not need the internet to be played. It simply must register your computer with its servers as one of your five activations. Once activated you no longer need a internet connection.

If this is indeed what Bioshock is doing then they at least need to go the extra mile and offer phone activation.
I work for a software company that deals with banking and checks and such and because of this we need to have our software "activated". We have a nice internet activation program but we ALSO offer phone activation.
I don't agree with this type of situation, but if you are going to do it then you need to take care of your customers. And that includes putting a few monkeys on the phones to do phone activations and "re-activations".

1427.8.2007 18:20

Quote:
Quote:
3)Bioshock does not need the internet to be played. It simply must register your computer with its servers as one of your five activations. Once activated you no longer need a internet connection.

If this is indeed what Bioshock is doing then they at least need to go the extra mile and offer phone activation.
I work for a software company that deals with banking and checks and such and because of this we need to have our software "activated". We have a nice internet activation program but we ALSO offer phone activation.
I don't agree with this type of situation, but if you are going to do it then you need to take care of your customers. And that includes putting a few monkeys on the phones to do phone activations and "re-activations".
Nope its sonys install severs you must deal with,theres no middle man here you have to call one to get a code to call the other before anythign can be worked out,at least steam is evolved beyond this as much as I loath it it at least gives you some things by letting big brother cuddle you all the time.

1527.8.2007 18:21

SProdigy, not immoral - rational.
You might find this story interesting and relevant, if somewhat worrying.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/27/...utage_aug_2007/

1628.8.2007 7:21

Originally posted by JezQ:
SProdigy, not immoral - rational.
You might find this story interesting and relevant, if somewhat worrying.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/27/...g_2007/


Dude, that's old news. I was talking about XP, not Vista. Ever see that annoying WGA popup? Yeah, it's hilarious when it's on someone's PC. Funny thing is, they usually get it from a "friend or neighbor" who is fixing their computer.

1728.8.2007 11:10
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by PeaInAPod:
**In my opinion, this isn't all that bad. It requires less than a minute of your time to register on the server. If your going to bitch and moan about this then why don't you switch over to Linux or Mac OS? Because Microsoft is constantly sending you updates that may take minutes to hours to download depending on there server load and then there patches may cause you system instability. So if a 30 second internet registration is such a waste of your bandwidth/money then dump Windows because it is uses far more of your bandwidth and time with its constant updates.
Not that I'm sticking up for windows, but constantly putting out updates is a good thing because they are fixing their screw-ups and also patching unforseen security holes. Now the screw-ups should lower the cost of the product because the quality is lowered, but it doesn't. As for the security holes, they show up every day with just about everything. So whichever OS you are on, you will still need updates for them. Even the die hard idiot mac fans that say they are invulnerable need them. Updates are important. Now I'm not sticking up for windows because I would personally prefer to be on linux right now but I'm too lazy to create another partition, find which distro to get, install it, then learn how to use it. All I'm saying is that putting out updates is a good thing, and it's probably about one of the very few things microsoft is doing right.

182.9.2007 13:41

I am staying away from this.

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