We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Sony DRM code hijacked by Trojan

Chance of infection is low

A Trojan horse program has been discovered that hooks into Sony’s controversial DRM (digital rights management) copy-protection software to hide itself on any PC it infects.

The Troj/Stinx-E malware attacks PCs via email, with a message asking users to open an attached picture. Running this causes a file to be copied to the hard disk using the same "$sys$" prefix used by Sony’s DRM program. This hides the file on any system already loaded with Sony’s protection software.

The chance of infection for ordinary computer users is low, but the news is yet another embarrassing development to have come out of Sony’s clumsy use of DRM software.

Almost two weeks ago, the company was found to have engineered its DRM software to protect a music CD from piracy using techniques more often associated with criminal spyware.

Since then, public pressure has forced the company to make available a tool to uncloak and de-install its spyware-mimicking program, and has even had to face the threat of legal action in Italy over its behaviour. Antivirus vendors have produced special tools to deal with the software.

"Despite its good intentions in stopping music piracy, Sony's DRM copy protection has opened up a vulnerability which hackers and virus writers are now exploiting," said Graham Cluley of Sophos, which published details of the Troj/Stinx-E Trojan.

"We wouldn't be surprised if more malware authors try and take advantage of this security hole, and consumers and businesses alike should protect themselves at the earliest opportunity," he said.


IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features. The next version of Windows will run on everything:....

IDG UK Sites

An Apple fan's perspective on the Windows 10 launch

IDG UK Sites

Sensor-laden kids' watch with 3G launches in Japan

IDG UK Sites

2014 Retina iMac release date rumours, specs and features: 27in 5K Retina iMac 'launching this mont'......