Come X'mas... and US consumer groups are complaining that Sony BMG continues to flog spyware-infected music across malls.
Tis the season to be merry... not true for Sony BMG...
It all started with whistle-blower Mark Russinovich, who discovered that the XCP DRM (digital rights management) copy protection software used in a number of Sony music CDs actually hides itself using rootkit mechanism and exposes users' PCs to hacker attacks.
Then came "double jeopardy"... the discovery of a flaw in SunComm's MediaMax Version 5 copy protection software used on several of Sony's CDs. The MediaMax software was found to install a file folder on users' systems, which could be exploited by attackers to gain control over the infected system.
Sony BMG promptly made available a patch for this flaw, and instituted a pre-Christmas recall for around 80 titles containing the MediaMax copy protection software.
But come X'mas... and US consumer groups are complaining that Sony BMG unabashedly continues to flog its spyware-infected music across malls in the country.
Further Texas Attorney General - Greg Abbott, had earlier filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG on charges that the company is violating the state's anti-spyware laws by embedding software in its CDs and media players to monitor users' habits.
The suit has now been expanded, alleging that Sony BMG is violating the state's laws on deceptive trade practices by hiding "spyware" on its compact discs.
The new charges contend that the MediaMax copy protection software used by Sony BMG violates state laws, because it is downloaded even if users reject the license agreement.
Of course Sony BMG has countered, saying that it has recalled CDs featuring 52 popular artists including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Celine Dion.