It's Patch Tuesday!

Like the rest of you, I’m patiently waiting for Microsoft to announce their November patches.  Based on the Advance Notification bulletin, we’ll only have one critical patch, and two other non-security (but still high-priority) updates.  Only a little while longer until we know for sure.

Obviously not the “No Spin Zone”

I love it when business-types try to spin a huge failure into a “logical progression of their core competency” (or some other jargon like that).  Check out this interview with Matthew Gilliat-Smith, CEO of First 4 Internet, regarding the Sony DRM saga.  I got a kick out of his description of F4I’s rootkit as benign.  According to my MSN Encarta dictionary, benign means:

  • kindly: as in a benign tumor
  • harmless: neutral or harmless in its effect or influence
  • favorable: mild or favorable in effect

The cobbled-together code that comprises F4I’s XCP copy protection is hardly benign.  In fact, Sony’s own FAQ page has a list of known issues with their CDs – including one titled Player takes up a large percentage of CPU cycles.  You’ll love the solution, which basically says “quit other applications so our rootkit can have more resources”.  Oh, and while you’re there, make sure to look at the troubleshooting section which recommends that corporate users without local admin rights should contact their IT department to install the Sony/XCP rootkit.  That’d be an interesting help desk call ;)

And you gotta love the blogosphere.  I didn’t even have to drop $15 on a CD to conduct my own testing of this rootkit and the associated uninstall/unhide utility.  Mark Russinovich quickly updated his blog with additional information – effectively answering all my questions and hopefully yours too.

Recommended Patch List

I hope to find time to update my recommended patch list today or tomorrow.  I’ve fallen behind on this lately, but still feel that it is an important enough resource to maintain.  I use the list myself during my day job as a consultant - and it only takes a few extra minutes to prop it for the 20 or so people who grab it each month.  Stay tuned.