Sony DRM fiasco rolls on

Sony's DRM (digital rights management) PR fiasco that I reported on last week is having fall-out amongst PC users for even more wrong reasons.

Sophos, the IT security firm, claims to have detected a new Trojan horse executable that exploits the controversial DRM copy protection included on some of the music giant's CDs.

According to Sophos, the Stinx-E Trojan horse appears to have been deliberately spammed out to email addresses with filenames such as Article+Photos.exe, posing as a message from a British business magazine.

Typical emails, says the IT security specialist, look as like:

Subject: Photo Approval Deadline

Message body:


Your photograph was forwarded to us as part of an article we are publishing for our December edition of Total Business Monthly. Can you check over the format and get back to us with your approval or any changes? If the picture is not to your liking then please send a preferred one. We have attached the photo with the article here."

And now the bad news - the Trojan copies itself to a file name with a $ys$ string in its name. And since the Sony DRM software auto-cloaks file names with this string in the name, the infectious file turns invisible.

Graham Cluley, Sophos' senior technology consultant and all-round veteran good guy, says he would be surprised if other malware authors start copying this security hole.

Despite Sony's monster slip-up, Sophos is coming to the rescue with a free downloadable utility that will detect the existence of Sony's DRM copy-protection on Windows computers, disable it, and prevent it from re-installing.

The utility should be online by the time you read this news item.

Nice one Sophos. Sony? I'll refrain from comment, event though Michael Jackson and George Michael's comments about the company speak volumes.