Not sure if you’ve read any of the news recently regarding Sony’s Root Kit, but Sony’s gotten into major problems with it. In short, a root kit is a software that allows others to hack into your computer. The Sony Root Kit is installed when you insert any of Sony’s recent music cds into a Windows machine. At first, Sony denied it was a root kit. I mean this was a nasty nasty bug. It would install itself automatically, hide itself from the user, and actually modify the kernel making it extremely hard to get rid of it. When Sony finally admitted it was root kit, they gave a half-ass apology but didn’t do anything about it. Several lawsuits have already been filed against them. A bit later, they finally decide to release a patch to fix this problem, but by installing that patch, they opened a whole new can of worms for users of Internet Explorer. Now anyone on the web can launch any program just by using the script that Sony used. Later, it was found that their root kit actually contained open source software, the LAME MP3 encoder/decoder to be exact. There’s also an article saying how Sony hired a Symantec ex-employee just so that they knew how to bypass the anti-virus softwares installed on your computer. Now they’re offering if you mail the cd back, you can get a new one without the root kit or download a copy from online and finally recalled all the “faulty” audio cds that were already out in the market.
The reason for this post wasn’t to bash Sony, they’ve already gotten quite a bashing already. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but I haven’t purchased audio CDs in so long, I don’t even care about all the tactics they try to pull anymore. What this post is about is that many believe Windows is to blame for this problem. I agree Windows should be part of the blame, but I want to talk about the auto-play feature. I personally hate the autoplay feature and many here would agree. Windows should have that disabled by default. However, I actually like the feature when you stick a CD or DVD in, it prompts you for action. How often do you stick a CD in and not planning to take an action on it? Autoplay should be an option in there and not automatically run by default. Just my 2 cents.