Several companies are apparently using Microsoft Media Player's digital rights management (DRM) tool to fool people into downloading spyware and viruses. Video files available on peer-to-peer networks are able to piggyback on this Microsoft technology to infect computers. But Microsoft denies responsibility.

Microsoft responded Friday, saying that the security risk does not arise from a flaw in its rights management tool, although the issue is triggered by an apparently content-protected file. Content distributors can use Windows Media Player to pop up a Web page with information about a video or song, and in this case, that page was apparently loaded with automatic spyware download mechanisms.

Microsoft have advised that users running older versions of the Windows operating system can protect themselves against this issue by turning up the security settings in Internet Explorer to "high," but that users of Windows XP would not have to worry as the automatic downloads would be blocked on any computer running the Service Pack 2 release of the OS. Spanish security company Panda Software continue to protest the seriousness of this security flaw.