AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft AntiSpyware to target XCP

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Nov 2005 5:28 User comments (26)

Microsoft AntiSpyware to target XCP Microsoft has deemed the XCP copy protection used by Sony BMG on some of its recently released CDs, a security risk and said it will work to help Windows OS users find and remove it. "We have analyzed this software and have determined that in order to help protect our customers, we will add a detection and removal signature for the rootkit component of the XCP software to the Windows AntiSpyware beta, which is currently used by millions of users," Jason Garms, group program manager of the Anti-Malware Technology Team said.
XCP, developed by UK-based First4Internet, has attracted a storm of criticism due to its rootkit-like installation. It's file hiding techniques have been utilized by virus writers already to hide one discovered trojan (and at least one variant) in the Windows Operating System to avoid detection. Since its discovery by Mark Russinovich, Sony BMG has also been hit by lawsuits.

Microsoft will also fight XCP using its upcoming anti-virus software. "Detection and removal of this rootkit component will also appear in Windows Defender when its first public beta is available. We also plan to include this signature in the December monthly update to the Malicious Software Removal Tool," Garms said.

Sony BMG also announced that it will halt production of copy protected CDs that use XCP and that titles currently released with the copy protection would be removed from shelves. The label will also offer a swap to unhappy customers but details about the swap have not yet been given.


Previous Next  

26 user comments

115.11.2005 05:52

HAHHAH even Microsoft is ripping on SucONY!! Good for them. Its about time, companies start sticking up for the consumer. SUcks for you sonyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

215.11.2005 07:02

Never thought Bill Gates would step away from the dark side (corpprete amarica) and side with the cunsmers ...this only means Sony is in really big trouble I mean really Bill Gates hates the government and now hes fighting with anouther compainy over crap they are installing in his (and only his not mac or lenux) operating system

315.11.2005 07:02

I would not put too much stock into microsoft's goodwill measure againest the Sony Xcp rootkit. More often than not microsoft is usually IN BED WITH PEOPLE LIKE SONY. Face it all the big corporate moguls embrace drm and they use piracy as a lame excuse to rip off legitimate business customers. I would not trust microsoft any furthur than i could throw them.

415.11.2005 08:52

i don't trust M$ too much, but i'm hoping this is a good sign. i haven't yet had to deal with this xcp crap, and now it looks like i won't have to :D sure, something worse will probably come out soon. but for now, this is good.

515.11.2005 14:21

again.. this is why i luv my mac.. i dont have that issue..

615.11.2005 16:48

would microsoft have done it if there WASN'T an uproar about it? HMMM....

715.11.2005 16:59

It may seem a bit fishy that MS is goin against Sony, but its better that there goin to fight than the lil consumer. On the flip side MS might get there hands on the code and create somethin harder to break. Catch 22

815.11.2005 17:38

Why is it wierd that Microsoft would jump on a bandwagn aginst Sony. Sony is the creater of the PS3 you know. Politically this couldn't have happend at a better time as far as microsoft is concerned. Maybe this slip up by Sony will cause thier more intelligent customers to think about the next Sony product they buy especially since other companies care about thier customers so much. I don't think MS is in bed with Sony. They are in competition in just about every way. Plus Sony's DRM only hampers MS customers, ruining the windows entertainment experience, and it seems that Sony didn't let MS know anything about this rootkit design. I think Bill is legitimatly pissed. What Sony did is a prime example of bad biz. Ced

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Nov 2005 @ 5:41

915.11.2005 18:11

I agree with diabolos. I am definitely considering on not buying anymore sony products. I definitely not going to buy a PS3, going for a XBox 360. I know thats what M$ wants everyone to think but I just don't support what $ony stands for at this moment. No more $ony for this guy.

1016.11.2005 03:08

I told my car pool that I'd finally give him my PS2 and accessories instead of gas/toll money (he's been wanting it for a few months now). As of now, I am no longer an owner of any Sony product. I even pulled my Sony DVD-R out of my HTPC and replaced it with a competing brand of RW (Up till this BS I had planned on replacing it with another Sony DVD-RW but can only wonder what they've done to their firmware to somehow screw me AND my system over) For others with Sony HW, think about the firmware installed and even harder about the updates! As for the Xbox 360...looks like Billy Boy will get quite a bit of money off me this X-Mas

1116.11.2005 05:11

i just played the xbox 360 in best buy. nothing impressive, my pc has better graphics... i'll wait for the ps3, and the revolution to come out... "companies start sticking up for the consumer"... microsoft?? very naive...

1216.11.2005 08:13

As i sat yesterday in my business class and the professor was speaking about brand loyalty and it made me reflect on Sony. Microsoft is on the verge of launching the xbox 360 and now with this, ALOT of consumers, have left SOny because of repeated offenses and ethical lapse. I for one was loyal to sony in everything for the quality products they have given me over the years. When the slimline v12came with a crappy laser i stayed loyal. No longer will i live in my ignorance. Microsoft just slapped sony in the face with with the beta software detecting sony's rootkit. Farewell sony... and to your shabby products and suck firmwares for the psp and other products. SONY YOU SUCK.

1316.11.2005 08:15

one last comment on the delay of the ps3 if consumers are going to spend 300-400 on the xbox 360 i highly doubt they will buy a ps3. NOW is the time to compete stupid idiots. i hate sony!!!

1416.11.2005 10:54

Agree with above post. Nothing to do with the Ps3 and xbox 360 *wink wink* and has nothing to do with the fact that sony are trying to force blu-ray on the world and microsoft has backed HD-DVD.

1516.11.2005 11:37

"force blu-ray on the world"... jeez, relax dudes.. you guys make it sound so dramatic... microsoft vs. sony, who gives a f... throw your sony tv thru the window, and buy and xbox for xmas, but i think you need a girlfriend or, buy yourself a dog, get a life man...

1616.11.2005 13:50

I wonder why? There must be something in it for Microsoft, "Consumer protection" my butt, what about the spyware that ships with XP, (do a fresh install of XP and before connecting to anything run an Adaware scan, you will get a hit, I can't remember the name but it starts with an A) M

1718.11.2005 07:19

I only own one sony product and don't work no more. I wasn't affected by the XCP and i am not a loyal sony customer. I won't by any future products of sony. In the future don't capitalize the S in sony as they are now inferior.

1818.11.2005 11:30

...another drama queen...

1918.11.2005 11:33

I am not buying anymore peanut M&Ms... i'm on a diet!!

2018.11.2005 11:35

don't capitalize the "M"... people might get offended... LOL

2118.11.2005 20:00

Of course M$ is making a lot of noise and "standing up for the consumer": it's the first opportunity they've had to try and look good. An imaginary parallel would be a "world leader" whose nation/worldwide unpopularity has rocketed to an alltime high, announcing a gazzillion-dollar war against - oh, I don't know - let's say Bird Flu. Hearts of gold, the pair of them. Not a self-serving bone in their bodies.

2220.11.2005 04:06

It has messed up my pc already, due to putting some warnings from AntiVir in quarantine which have now disappeared,my DVD-ROM and DVD-Burner have dissapeared from my pc and are nowhere to be found! Moving Upper - and Lowerfilters from my registry did not help at all. Any help would be appreciated!

2320.11.2005 04:23

just info and a good read cheers Sony BMG aims to amend XCP CD users with MP3s & new CDs Posted by Sen Byrne on 20 November 2005 - 01:17 - Source: Reuters - Technology News When Sony initially started its Digital Audio Player Walkman series, they were totally against the MP3 format, however after very poor sales, they added MP3 support on their later Walkman series. Now, after causing so much grief and anger with their XCP rootkit based copy protection software, Sony BMG has finally announced that it would do anything it possibly can to amend the customers who have been affected. So Sony BMG has decided to do one thing that no one would ever dream of Sony Corp. nor Sony BMG doing, by e-mailing the affected customers a link to their website where they can download unprotected MP3 tracks of their affected CDs as part of the exchange programme. 4.7 million CDs with the XCP software have been recalled and customers can send back their affected CDs for replacement unprotected CDs of the same titles in return. Due to further controversy over the security issues of Sony BMG's recent uninstall tool, the company has announced that they would make a new uninstall tool available. Unfortunately, this will not be the end of copy-protection either for the company as they still emphasise that it is an important tool for protecting their own and the artists' intellectual property rights. Thanks to Hypnosis4U2NV who used our news submit to let us know about the following news: In an attempt to make up with consumers whose PCs have been exposed to unsecure copy-protection software which acts like malware, music publisher Sony BMG said on Friday it would swap unsecure CDs for new unprotected disks as well as unprotected MP3 files. The music publishing venture of Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp. and Germany's Bertelsmann AG had already said last week it would temporarily suspend the manufacture of music CDs containing the controversial copy-protection technology. The XCP copy-protection programme, developed by British software firm First4Internet and used by Sony BMG to restrict copying and sharing of music CDs, acts like virus software and hides deep inside a computer where it leaves the backdoor open for malicious hackers. Sony BMG, after announcing a recall of some 4.7 million CDs with the software on Wednesday, said on Friday consumers could mail their CDs to the company, and they would receive a new unprotected CD in return. Pending the processing of the exchange programme, consumers would also receive an email with details of a Website where they could download the music tracks as unprotected MP3 files. It seems like Sony has finally given up with the copy-protection on the 52 affected discs. Then again from what I can see, offering MP3 versions of the tracks is not going to make piracy any worse either since chances are that the tracks of all 52 CDs would likely be widely shared at this point, not to mention that the only people who were affected by this nasty software were those who have actually got the official CDs! However, at least the consumers can play these replacement tracks on any MP3 player, including iPods and not just those supporting some form of DRM. read more here

2420.11.2005 04:41

jack020 post here so your problem can be noticed

2520.11.2005 04:59

Thanks mod!

2621.11.2005 14:22

I have a great feeling that this is all about x-Box 360 versus ps3.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive