THIS IS OF 2005. I was browsing a forum and I found this, I highly suggest this to be stickied.
HOWTO: Remove the Sony rootkit
(rev. 1.01, 5Jan05)
In 2005, Sony BMG put machine-corrupting programs called rootkits on Sony audio CDs which secretly and illegally took over user's PCs... seemingly plain old audio CDs that you buy at music stores.
Trusting children and adults worldwide who put a Sony audio CD into their PC and listened to the music were unknowingly electronically raped when Sony molested their actual Windows Operating System (OS) in a way that no other hacker or company in human history has even dared to do. And then Sony destroyed the OS if anyone somehow pierced the stealth veil and dared to remove the Sony 'virus' which was secretly hijacking the PC, continually spying on music owner, and covertly reporting to Sony.
In early November 2005, days after the discovery (announced on 31Oct05 by Mark Russinovich at SysInternals) of the secret plot of Sony to completely take over the PCs of all people who listened to Sony music (see Appendix), Sony's criminal conduct was arrogantly confirmed and unrepentantly affirmed by a President of Sony, Thomas Hesse, on a national radio address. He arrogantly insisted "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"
Sony's official corporate position was that they were elite, powerful, above the law, and the average loyal buyer of Sony CDs was (from Sony's point of view) too stupid to even know what a rootkit was, much less care about mysterious crashes and system slowdowns and unexplained network activity. After all, if the public does not know what a rootkit is, Sony publicly reasoned that they have the 'right' to take over your PC and do anything they want to you, legal or not.
The illegal Sony rootkit & secret software did several things:
1. Mislead customers (lied) to secretly invade and take over Windows PCs worldwide in 2005.
2. Secretly report to Sony things that Sony alone decided it wanted to know, as you did them.
3. Lie to you in the EULA (they explicitly said they did not do #2).
4. Install extraordinarily poorly written software which sometimes failed, causing people's PCs to mysteriously lose performance, or in some cases, be destroyed (no one in the world had a clue Sony was the culprit behind these mysterious failures, until 31Oct2005).
5. Enable themselves to do anything to your PC: examine its data, report anything you do, or whatever Sony desired.
6. Secretly install stealth software to completely cover their crimes in progress.
7. Sony shielded hackers and virus writers with an invisible cloak, preventing even anti-virus programs detecting some viruses and spyware on Sony-infested PCs.
8. If you play online games like World of Warcraft, then since November, players can now cheat you and not get caught (thanks, Sony).
Criminal charges and public outcry worldwide has forced Sony to begrudgingly recant, and recall its illegal music CDs -- worldwide. So far, they are willing to pay up to $5 USD to the legal owners who spent $20 USD for the CDs -- and that includes damages to people's software, data, security compromises, etc! Courts may award compensantory damages for those affected (many lawsuits are filed), and several jurisdictions are prosecuting Sony criminally for their outrageous crimes.
Most Antivirus companies now treat Sony rootkit as malware (or a virus or spyware), and will remove them. Microsoft hesitated rather embarrassingly for a few weeks before challenging a billion-dollar mega-corporation like Sony. But now MS labels the Sony software a "rootkit" and "malware". MS finally followed the lead of several anti-virus companies who did not flinch from protecting their customers from Sony... and now MS also officially makes a tool that will test your system and hunt down and destroy the nefarious Sony rootkit.
This affects every person in the world who has used a Sony music CD, or thinks they might have, in 2005 and in the years to come (since the ~5,000,000 CDs have not all been accounted for). Currently, this Sony threat is classified the highest of any malware affecting Microsoft products (level=Medium). Sony CDs played in cars, home stereos, boom boxes, etc. do not infect those non-PC devices.
The Sony rootkit takes over a PC, and cloaks itself, and completely corrupts the operating system and its ability to tell if the very OS itself has been corrupted. Sony destroys your machine (sabotages the OS with no way to reverse the effect except format/reinstall) with secret code if you somehow discover and dare to try to remove the cloaked, hidden, 'invisible', and 'untouchable' Sony rootkit. Sony supposedly restrained its own spying to things concerning Sony products, before they got caught. They knew it was wrong, and specifically denied doing it (a lie) in the EULA. And they enabled others to secretly do the same thing. That is why no one in the entire world (outside the Sony minions involved in perpetrating this crime) knew about this corrupting spyware, yet millions had it infesting their machines and doing the daily bidding of Sony.
1. Visit the MS KB article, MS Malicious Software Removal Tool (KB890830).
2. Download and run the tool.
3. Follow the MS instructions.
My own personal procedure:
1. Visit the MS KB article, MS Malicious Software Removal Tool (KB890830).
2. Download and run the tool.
3. Follow the MS instructions to test your machine for Rootkit presence.
4. If no Rootkit, end procedure. If Rootkit exists, continue.
5. Back up all data.
6. Delete the hard drive OS partition where the infected XP is installed.
7. Format the hard drive.
8. Install (or restore) a pristine OS.
NOTE: Why delete the OS? Because I trust neither Sony, nor the illegal programs that Sony enabled to secretly cloak (like viruses, spyware, backdoors, etc.). Even though the MS tool will remove part of the Sony destruction and criminal activity, it will not (and can not) restore your system to a guaranteed trusted state.
================= APPENDIX =================
APPENDIX 1: Now for some personal opinion.
----- BEGIN PERSONAL OPINION -----
This is the worst case of PC hacking in the history of mankind IMHO. The most criminal act in computer history, for that matter. Millions of PCs invaded and the evidence of the crime almost completely and totally hidden, while the billion-dollar greedy corporate architects of this massive conspiracy targeted only the loyal, legal, paying customers who went to the record shops, and in good faith, bought trojans pretending to be audio music, yet whose real purpose was nothing less that to secretly take over the very core of the operating system, and lobotomize it so even the OS could not realize it was totally infected and corrupted with sinister code. Poorly written, system-destroying code that hid all traces, all files, all directories, all evidence of running programs, all evidence of itself, while it secretly ran and spewed to Sony whatever Sony wanted to know about you and your machine. And then Sony lied to the public about it, then they said the public was too stupid to comprehend the magnitude of what they had done, and would never stop doing it.
So how can you protect yourself from a supremely arrogant, utterly sinister, billion-dollar company who only targets legal, paying, loyal customers, while leaving intact the machines of those who illegally trade & swap MP3s of the same music? Simple. Don't ever put a Sony CD into your PC. Ever. Ever. Never again. Not in your whole lifetime.
And if you must buy Sony music & listen to it, do not ever do it in a PC... only a non-PC home stereo or boom box. Never ever again should a person put a Sony Audio disk into a PC.
I for one will never ever buy Sony music again, ever. Just don't listen to it. Don't support Sony. Don't send the message to their competitors that other companies should follow Sony's lead, and stab all of us in the back and arrogantly laugh and insult us whilst they twist the knife.
I have some Sony CDs, but thankfully none that have the rootkit. But then since the illegal Sony software is invisible and cloaked... maybe I really do. Oh. That's right. I've reinstalled ALL my OSs since 9November2005, and I sit here tonight reinstalling 2 more from family and friends. No chance of another secret Sony invasion.
And perhaps call your lawmaker, and (in Texas) demand they make it a capital crime (execs to suffer the criminal penalties) for a corporation to take over your PC, secretly or not.
----- END PERSONAL OPINION -----
APPENDIX 2: For Reference, here is some more information on the nefarious Sony Rootkits which illegally invade your machine when you listen to some of the almost 5,000,000 Sony Music (Audio) CDs....
[From HOWTO: Learn & heed US Federal Law, Title 17 (e.g.: Personal archival backups)]
I will now lay it out for those who want to know what U.S. Federal Law really says... and not what opinions, loudmouths, lies, misinformation, and dishonest EULAs often would like you to believe (for a shock of how a multi-billion dollar corporation deceives its honest customers, google for "Sony EULA" read the 3,000 word Sony EULA on their notorious spyware rootkit music CDs!).
End-User License Agreements (or EULAs) do not take precedence over U.S. Federal Law, no matter what they EULA might say (or force you to click, like Sony secretly did with its terrible rootkit music CDs during the last year). That is because corporations and software writers are not the Law, they are not Congress, and they are not the Court(s) that interpret Law. But you must know the existing Law in order to decide for yourself what is B.S. and what is not .
THE SONY ROOTKIT & EULA
For example, in the last couple weeks, the reprehensible actions of Sony in the wake of the discovery on October 31st, 2005, that Sony was secretly taking over your machine with a rootkit... a illegal scheme which was lied about in their EULA... and which triggered the arrogant official response from the a Sony President in early November: "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" This President of Sony blatantly says that you are too stupid (my interpretation) to know about the foul scheme unleashed by Sony, and that Sony alone will stand as judge, jury, and executioner in deciding how and what they will do to your machine. The Sony (and RIAA) position is that neither you nor Microsoft (whose OS they subvert with the secret rootkit) nor the Law can have anything to say about it because you are all morons who don't care, especially since you "don't know" the secret things they are doing to you and how they are spying on you. Companies pay huge money... millions... to their shadowy backroom lawyers attempt to twist the Law, which is meant to protect you, into carte blanche to take over your machine at Sony's whim. You can listen to the actual audio of his official comments here. You can learn more here.
YOU ARE A TARGET
So in today's world, you are a target, even it all you want to do is legally by media. Even a President of a Billion-dollar corporation does not respect you and me -- the ones who go to the store and legally buy products (like Sony rootkit CDs pretending to just be audio CDs). The irony is that people who pirate the exact same Sony music were not affected. It was only the legal, loyal Sony CD buyers who were stabbed in the back by the rootkit, the EULA, the lies, the cover-up, and the begrudging steps by Sony (when faced with outrage from people who learned what Sony has secretly been doing all year). Companies like Sony (and possible some others, particularly members of RIAA, who imply they are in the process of doing things similar to what Sony did) do trick and trap you, and laugh in your face. But the Attorney General in the great state of Texas knows the law. And evidently so do some nations, like Italy. And they will see Sony in court for their illegal deeds.