Is Sony tinkering with rootkits again? You'd think that after their first horrendous experience they'd have learned their lesson
, but apparently that is not the case.
While not as severe as it was last time, a newer product from Sony is using very similar tactics
to hide software and files onto a machine, in such a fashion where it could pose a security risk. As F-Secure reports, it may be possible for some A/V suites to ignore certain files, which is where much of the risk comes from:
Files in this directory are also hidden from some antivirus scanners (as with the Sony BMG DRM case) — depending on the techniques employed by the antivirus software. It is therefore technically possible for malware to use the hidden directory as a hiding place.
They do leave room for a plausible reason – such as certain critical data needing to be protected. That aside, F-Secure takes exception with the tactics Sony has employed. Sony has not yet responded to F-Secure's requests for an explanation. There isn't any mention of this tactic causing any harm to a system - and unlike last time, it doesn't seem to make it easy to accidentally cripple a system. There's merely the "potential" for risk.