You bought the new Sony BMG music CD and now you own it -- sort of. If you want to play it on your computer you must use Sony's audio player which attempts to enforce digital rights management. So you install the audio player. Little do you know that you just installed what amounts to a type of rootkit. Only this rootkit isn't designed to give others full access to your system. Instead it's designed to prevent you from having full access to your system, as Mark Russinovich reveals after recently discovering such an ugly nuisance on his system. Getting rid of it wasn't easy -- there's no built-in way to uninstall the drivers -- and according to Russinovich if a layman tried to simply delete the related files then that act might actually cripple the system. Way to go Sony!
It seems to me that such harsh restrictions in digital rights management actually do more to foster the copying of music than they do to prevent it. After all, when people find out about stunts like this then some of them will probably consider "alternative" methods of obtaining the music they want to hear.
Update: November 3: Sony released an "update" that removes the cloaking technology discussed in the blog article. An associated note from Sony says "This Service Pack removes the cloaking technology component that has been recently discussed in a number of articles published regarding the XCP Technology used on SONY BMG content protected CDs. This component is not malicious and does not compromise security. However to alleviate any concerns that users may have about the program posing potential security vulnerabilities, this update has been released to enable users to remove this component from their computers."
So I wonder if they'll notify music stores to alert potential and past customers?