Microsoft declares war on Sony DRM

Microsoft plans to issue detection and removal signatures to Sony’s controversial DRM code through its anti spyware software programme. The software has been heavily criticised for using techniques more associated with hackers rather than corporate giants.

Declaring war on the rootkit in the company’s malware blog, Jason Garms Architect & Group PM of the Anti-Malware Technology Team said that Microsoft regards the Sony DRM as malicious code and planed to treat it as such.

According to Garms, Redmond’s position on the Sony rootkit DRM could not be any clearer. Microsoft will add a detection and removal signature for the rootkit component of the XCP software to the current Windows AntiSpyware beta. This signature will be provided to the millions of AntiSpyware users through the normal weekly Windows signature update process.

The Microsoft malware team has gone further and said that the Detection and removal of this rootkit component will also appear in Windows Defender – the new version of AntiSpyware when the first public beta becomes available.

Microsoft will also include this signature in the December monthly update to the Malicious Software Removal Tool. Furthermore, it will be included in the signature set for the online scanner on Windows Live Safety Centre.

In other words, Microsoft will do everything in its power to prevent the DRM software working on PCs.

Microsoft’s announcement came 24 hours after Sony declared that it was ‘suspending’ the production of CDs with the rootkit DRM installed. Quite where this leaves the Sony DRM is unclear although the Microsoft move seems to have killed the copy protection dead at least in its present form.

This is the second time in as many months that Microsoft has taken issue with Sony over DRM. In late September Microsoft criticised the Sony backed Blu Ray next generation DVD format for inflexibility over its DRM. This latest spat is unlikely to endear the two giants to each other, already locked in a war over the future domination of the gaming console market.

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