November 14, 2005 | By Seth Schoen

Warning: Sony XCP Uninstaller Creates Security Holes

Many people have been concerned about the security risks of the XCP copy restriction software bundled on several recent Sony/BMG music CDs. Sony has made available a remarkably difficult-to-obtain uninstall program, which is not even capable of uninstalling all the components of the XCP system. However, Finnish security researcher Muzzy reported that this uninstall program introduces its own set of possible security problems -- and that it may even make matters worse.

Today, following up on this possibility, Ed Felten and Alex Halderman announced that they have

confirmed that Sony's Web-based XCP uninstallation utility exposes users to serious security risk. Under at least some circumstances, running Sony's Web-based uninstaller opens a huge security hole on your computer. We have a working demonstration exploit.

As Muzzy demonstrated, and Felten and Halderman have confirmed, the Sony update program leaves behind additional code with its own set of serious security vulnerabilities. As a result, Felten and Halderman encourage those infected with the Sony/BMG rootkit not to use the Sony-provided uninstaller. For the time being, Sony has not left its customers with any safe recourse.

Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Backdoors have been discovered in Arris cable modems. This is why we need a security research exemption to the DMCA.

Nov 27 @ 2:15pm

Censorship powers, data retention, and vague hacking crimes: Pakistan's terrible cybercrime bill has it all:

Nov 25 @ 5:11pm

While Bangladesh blocks social messaging apps, locals are turning to Tor and Twitter:

Nov 25 @ 3:50pm
JavaScript license information