A few days ago, I asked why Microsoft was not responding vigorously to the discovery that Sony was subverting their operating system to keep people from copying CDs. Bruce Schneier, security expert, has now written eloquently on this subject, also pinning the anti-virus companies to the mat. His article is a clear, non-technical summary of what Sony was up to and how the world is responding to it. And I think he raises all the right questions. (Here’s another source for the same article, from Schneier’s blog.)
If you’ve played recent CDs from any of the major music businesses on your computer lately, you may be at risk from this software. You can find instructions for checking this spyware here, in Ed Felton’s blog. In addition to leaving your computer open to all sorts of hack attacks, the Sony software won’t even let you copy a music CD that you own outright. It inserts noise during the copy process, even if you recorded your own composition and you’re now copying it.