Sony’s Rootkit Uninstaller Inadvertantly Uninstalls Any Security Your System Had

By Deane Barker on November 15, 2005

Sony’s Web-Based Uninstaller Opens a Big Security Hole; Sony to Recall Discs: The Sony rootkit drama thickens. Turns out the uninstaller they provider to fix their first problem creates a massive security hole. Nice.

The root of the problem is a serious design flaw in Sony’s web-based uninstaller. When you first fill out Sony’s form to request a copy of the uninstaller, the request form downloads and installs a program — an ActiveX control created by the DRM vendor, First4Internet — called CodeSupport. CodeSupport remains on your system after you leave Sony’s site, and it is marked as safe for scripting, so any web page can ask CodeSupport to do things.

One thing CodeSupport can be told to do is download and install code from an Internet site. Unfortunately, CodeSupport doesn’t verify that the downloaded code actually came from Sony or First4Internet. This means any web page can make CodeSupport download and install code from any URL without asking the user’s permission.

Sony has finally relented and is recalling all disks infected with the rootkit. Via Boing Boing.



  1. wow…

    First4Internet will get be very damaged or will dissapear of the market after this one!!!

    Sony will survive but this is going to be final stab before leaving the Music market (weren’t they leaving it? )

    Waiting for the next episode of this saga…

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