Using Rootkits to Defeat Digital Rights Management

By | February 6, 2006

The Sony rootkit debacle highlighted the use of rootkits to prevent pirates and authors of CD burning, ripping, and emulation utilities from circumventing Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions on access to copyrighted content. It’s therefore ironic, though not surprising, that several CD burning and disc emulation utilities are also using rootkits, though the technology is being used in the opposite way: to prevent DRM software from enforcing copy restrictions.

Because PC game CDs and DVDs do not need to be compatible with set-top players software vendors can store data on media in unorthodox ways that require software support to read it. Attempts to make a copy of such media without the aid of the software results in a scrambled version and the software has DRM measures to detect and foil unauthorized copying.

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