Tuesday, November 01, 2005

knit dna, nasa penis monster, musical PEZ, sony rootkits

On the list of still more stupid shit to knit, you can knit DNA.

And you can do it while watching the NASA penis monster.

And a stay-at-home-dad designs, builds, and markets a MP3 player in the shape of a PEZ dispenser.

And Sony distributes a rootkit as part of their "copy protected" CDs. A horrible fuckup on their part. If you hate viruses, worms, and spyware, the word " rootkit" should scare the shit out of you. (Speaking of which, there's an AIM worm that is distributing itself with a rootkit.) Anyway, if your system is compromised by this worm disguised as DRM, you'll be able to create files or directories starting with "$sys$" and it'll be completely invisible to everything else in the system, including virus scanners.

I'm thinking of making directories like "$sys$nastyporn" or "$sys$worlddominationplans".

So we all need yet another security tool along with virus scanners, popup blockers, and spyware removal: rootkit revealer. While it's theoretically possible to design a rootkit to be invisible to rootkit revealer, it's likely to be an arms race and the people at SysInternals have a vested interest (profits) to stay on top of it.

This opens up the same question that I've been wondering ever since Skype was bought out by Ebay: If a high-security software program comes under the jurisdiction of the US Justice Department, will they strong-arm those companies into putting secret spy shit in? I, for one, no longer have that fuzzy feeling of security and warmth that I get by using Skype for secure communications any more. Is the same on the horizon for rootkits? Will the government mandate that SysInternals' Rootkit Revealer be made to ignore government written rootkits?

This bothers me because the feds did strong-arm virus scanners and spyware removal programs into ignoring their own spyware as installed by court order. And they strong-armed cell-phone chip manufacturers into including secret features that allow listening on the mic of cell-phones without alerting the customer.