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Beastie Boys CD Installs Virus


tristy
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A new Beastie Boys' CD called "To the Five Boroughs" (Capitol Records), is raising hackles around the Web for reputedly infecting computers with a virus.

According to a recent thread at BugTraq, an executable file is automatically and silently installed on the user's machine when the CD is loaded. The file is said to be a driver that prevents users from ripping the CD (and perhaps others), and attacks both Windows boxen and Macs.

The infected CD is being distributed worldwide except in the USA and UK, which prevents us from giving a firsthand report. However, according to hearsay, we gather that the Windows version exploits the 'autorun' option, and that the Mac version affects the auto play option.

On Windows, when a CD is loaded, a text file called autorun.inf is read, and any instructions within it are executed. In this case, the machine is instructed to install some manner of DRM driver that prevents copying. We haven't seen either the .inf file or any of the executables, so we can't say how or at what level it accomplishes this - or if indeed it actually does accomplish this.

But assuming that the unconfirmed reports are accurate, we have here a media company infecting users' machines silently with a file that affects a computer's functionality, without first obtaining informed consent: a likely violation of pretty much every jurisdiction's anti-hacking laws. It's possible to foresee criminal charges being brought at some point: after all, having a good reason for spreading malware has never been much of a defence in court. And a file that alters a computer's functioning without the owner's informed consent is the very definition of malware. Because this malware can be transferred from machine to machine on a removable disk, and requires user interaction to spread, it is, quite simply, a computer virus. (A worm, on the other hand, is distinguished by its ability to spread without user interaction.)

Credit: Here

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1. There is NO copy controlled software on US or UK releases of Beastie Boys' "To the 5 Boroughs."

2. The disk *IS* copy controlled in Europe - which is standard policy for all

Capitol/EMI titles (and a policy used by ALL major labels in Europe).

3. The copy protection system used for all EMI/Capitol releases including "To the 5 Boroughs" is Macrovision's CDS-200, which sets up an audio player into the users RAM (not hard drive) to playback the RED book audio on the disk. It does absolutely NOT install any kind of spyware, shareware, silverware, or ladies wear onto the users system.

You can find more information on the technology used here:

http://www.macrovision.com/products/cds/cds200/index.shtml

http://www.beastieboys.com/news.php

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Didn't read that when I posted initially.

Point three of their statement however states that the protection isn't viral in nature, and is quite common in European CD's. Why, then , the Beastie Boys have been singled out I have no idea.

Edit: Although I would not purchase a CD, Beastie Boys or not that wouldn't let me rip it. I want these songs on my MP3 Player.

Edited by Iwc
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Edit: Although I would not purchase a CD, Beastie Boys or not that wouldn't let me rip it. I want these songs on my MP3 Player.

Let's look at the ways this autorun business can be defeated. It's quite easy to disable autorun in Windows by holding down the Shift key when loading a CD. Unfortunately, this has to be done each time the CD is played. However, it's easy to insert the CD once with the Shift key depressed, and then simply rip the tracks to the hard disk. You can then use the CD in other devices, and listen to your corresponding MP3s or whatever on your computer.

You can also disable the autorun "feature" on your Windows machine permanently so that this and other CDs infected with viruses won't affect you in the future.

To do this, go to the Start menu ==> Run, and type in the command regedit. Your registry editor will launch. Navigate to the following key, and edit as shown:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CDRom and set Autorun DWORD=0

It might be necessary to create the value, thus: Data Type: DWORD Value Name: Autorun Value: 0

As usual, you must reboot your Windows box for the changes to take effect.

http://www.theregister.com/2004/06/23/beastie_boy_cd_virus/

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Who buys singles, in this day and age?

A lot of people. I don't understand why they shouldn't.

And sorry Keith and co., I heard Ch-Check It Out, and it doesn't sound that great. Beastie Boys or not, that song sounds sub-par.

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