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Dhs. Sony Rootkit May Lead To Regulation


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News Story by Robert McMillan


FEBRUARY 16, 2006 A U.S. Department of Homeland Security official warned today that if software distributors continue to sell products with dangerous rootkit software, as Sony BMG Music Entertainment recently did, legislation or regulation could follow.


"We need to think about how that situation could have been avoided in the first place," said Jonathan Frenkel, director of law enforcement policy for the DHS's Border and Transportation Security Directorate, speaking at the RSA Conference 2006 in San Jose. "Legislation or regulation may not be appropriate in all cases, but it may be warranted in some circumstances."



Last year, Sony began distributing XCP (Extended Copy Protection) software in some of its products. The digital rights management software, which used rootkit cloaking techniques normally employed by hackers, was later found to be a security risk, and Sony was forced to recall millions of its CDs.



The incident quickly turned into a public relations disaster for Sony. It also attracted the attention of DHS officials, who met with Sony a few weeks after news of the rootkit was first published, Frenkel said. "The message was certainly delivered in forceful terms that this was certainly not a useful thing," he said.


Here's the rest of the story.


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