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Friday, November 04, 2005

Rootkits, Spyware, and Hacks, Oh My!

So yeah, this news is a bit old now, but I thought I should post it, if for no reason other than to use that post title. All of this stuff I discovered (or, more accurately, was linked to, by people or sites).

First, we have Sony installing a rootkit on the computers of anyone (with admin privileges) that puts the Get Right With the Man CD in their drive. This rootkit is a driver that hides itself from detection by hooking the Windows system call table and preventing any files with file names beginning with "$sys$" from showing up in Explorer or anywhere else (you can readily test for the presence of this rootkit by renaming a file that way, and observing if it disappears). After the public outrage from the Slashdot readers and others, Sony released a none-too-effective uninstaller.

In the same week (at least for me), news of the Warden got around. The Warden is Blizzard's anti-hacking tool for World of Warcraft (in the legacy of Work, Blizzard's neato hack detector for Starcraft, Diablo II, and Warcraft III). This one has the enjoyable function of scanning the programs running on your computer, and sending such things as the title of open windows to Blizzard.

Finally, in a move of minor brilliance (and what makes an ideal final entry in summary posts such as this), hackers decide that it would be worth their time to use one to thwart the other; that is, to use the Sony rootkit to hide their WoW hacks from the Warden. Looks like it's gonna be a war between the video game and music industries for who's responsible for this mess.

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