Sony compromises user security -- again

Sony compromises user security -- again

Summary: Sony has once again been outed for putting its customers at risk from attack by creating software that could help criminals hide malware on a PC.

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Sony has once again been outed for putting its customers at risk from attack by creating software that could help criminals hide malware on a PC.

The offending software is the device driver for a biometric fingerprint reading component of a product called the MicroVault USB, which contains a rootkit-like cloaking technology that security firms say could be used by criminals to hide malware.

This is not the first time Sony has been caught putting users' PCs at risk.

In 2005, the company was sued for using a rootkit to hide DRM technology in a music CD. Eventually it made a public apology and paid US$7.50 to each user who took part in a class action lawsuit.

You would think that experience may have changed Sony's ways but this latest revelation seems to prove that the electronics giant is happy abusing user security for its own purposes.

This kind of behaviour should really make everyone -- consumers and companies alike -- think twice before installing any software provided by Sony.

The company's track record proves it cannot be trusted.

But how many people actually pay attention to this kind of behaviour? Not many we suspect.

Will this latest revelation put you off using Sony products? Has your security been compromised because of a vendor's slack attitude to security?

Please let us know by sending an e-mail to the ZDNet Australia edit team, or by commenting below.

Topics: Security, Hardware, Malware, Microsoft, Windows

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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2 comments
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  • Hey Munir

    You are still working then...

    Any chance we can be offered some explanation and maybe an apology on Aussies prefer robots to Asiansgate?

    http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Aussies-prefer-dealing-with-robots-over-Asians/0,130061733,339281452,00.htm

    (P.S. Good to see you found a security issue to talk about this time!)
    anonymous
  • That's you!

    Oh my God! You ARE still working! So, what's with covering up the robots-v-asians debacle?
    I mean, couldn't you just admit a mistake? We all make them. It's the people who pretend nothing happened that are truly gutless.
    Until you admit something, you don't get to judge Sony for anything, even if they are wrong. At least they issued an apology last time they screwed up.
    anonymous