back to article Revealed: Remember the Sony rootkit rumpus? It was almost oh so much worse

Retired Microsoft engineer, Dave Plummer, offered a blast from the past last week with a look back at the infamous Sony Windows "rootkit" scandal. What was the Sony rootkit scandal? Picture it: it was 2005. Kanye West's Late Registration, Green Day's American Idiot and Eminem's Encore were topping the album charts. Fearful of …

  1. Skiron Bronze badge

    Didn't outlook (or whatever it was called then) email client auto-run executable file attachments too around the same time?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      And an image file format that let you put batch commands in the header and it would run them before it displayed the file

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      It was called Outlook Express and it may as well have been specifically designed to be a virus propagation platform.

      It didn't auto-run executables, however it was a trivial process to cause it to execute pretty much anything. Usually without letting the user know. Combine this with Microsoft's brain dead insistence that nobody really needed to know what the real file extension of a file is (hiding file extensions is one Microsoft's most stupid general UI things to date) and you could have a safe looking file which was an .exe which presented the icon of an image (extracted from the file itself) which was really "xmas.jpg.exe" but shown to the user as "xmas.jpg" with an image icon.

      It was replaced by Windows Mail which really wasn't much better in many ways (an absolute horror to use and failed to work with many SMTP implementations until they were hacked up to "support" Windows Mail's broken interpretation of standards and special Microsoft extras. It also feels like some of the really crap rendering and editing code from Outlook Express was moved into Outlook...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "hiding file extensions is one Microsoft's most stupid general UI things to date"

        Having file extensions is of course their most stupid UI decision.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Filename extensions are fine.

          Meaningful filename extensions, however, not so much.

          Maybe, just maybe, Microsoft will learn what magic numbers are. Eventually. You folks running un*x-ish systems, try "man magic" ... you can poke around in /etc/file/magic for more. The concept is older than UNIX[tm] itself ... Meaningful file name extensions should have died with Digital Research's CP/M.

          Rest in peace, Gary, my friend ... you are still missed by many, you cantankerous old goat.

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          I understand the efficiency of filename file type encoding compared to file type identification codes at the beginning of a file. With filename file type encoding, as in file extensions, the claimed file type of a file is in the directory index and very quick and efficient to separate out. Where file type identification codes are the only method of deriving a file's claimed type, the first few bytes of every file has to be read in addition to the file directory index. This is considerably slower than just parsing a directory index. The file type identification codes also have to be managed in a largely consistent manner because otherwise they would be duplicated - not that this wasn't a problem with file extensions but it's slightly less obvious to the user that there is a file type ID clash.

          While it's not impossible to have a file system where the file identification bytes are included in the directory index this introduces a fair bit of extra overhead and this was at a time when a floppy disk was pretty much cutting edge storage technology - neither fast nor high capacity and any bytes saved was a good thing. [I'm aware of the irony of this given how wasteful the DOS floppy disk format was by way of usable storage space compared to capacity, e.g. 0.72/1 and 1.44/2]

          Filtering on file types was not something that was useful only for an icon based interface either as a text based interface that would list only compatible file types is much more useful than one where you only know that the file you are trying to open was an image file and not a document when you try to open it. Naturally, this can happen anyway when it comes to changing file extensions, and I know of far too many apparently tech literate people who have tried to changed a file type simply by changing the file extension... /sigh

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "While it's not impossible to have a file system where the file identification bytes are included in the directory index this introduces a fair bit of extra overhead and this was at a time when a floppy disk was pretty much cutting edge storage technology - neither fast nor high capacity and any bytes saved was a good thing."

            On the other hand, filesystems have evolved numerous times since then, even at MS. ExtFAT and NTFS both came along when floppy disks were pretty much a dying breed and could easily have moved forward with a "magic number" stored in the directory info.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Apple tried it...

            Apple resource fork tried something alike - but it wasn't portable. The file extension can traverse any file system that can't recognize other ways to store a file metadata. Plus, managing this kind of metadata in a non-ambiguous way would require a central authority to assign file types ID - reading some bytes from a file header is not enough. Think about all the howls from the anti-MS crowd if MS had setup anything like that instead of letting everybody to create their own file types, and register them with Windows.

        3. Potemkine! Silver badge

          file extensions is of course their most stupid UI decision.

          File extensions have nothing to do UI but with file system. And that isn't that stupid, especially at the time it was designed.

      2. Carl D
        Devil

        Outlook Express wasn't nicknamed 'Lookout Express' for no reason.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          ITYM Lookout Distress :-)

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          The most common name applied was "outhouse distress"

          It really was a shitty product

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        It was replaced by Windows Mail which really wasn't much better in many ways (an absolute horror to use and failed to work with many SMTP implementations until they were hacked up to "support"

        Microsoft had form with that - I was (for a while) a network admin and one of my tasks was ensuring sendmail was working - so I got used to checking the logs regularly.

        Then one of our offices reported not having seen any email for a while. Checking the logs seemed to indicate that the mail was flowing to them successfully so we were somewhat puzzled. In desperation I fired up telnet to try and see what was going on. I successfully got to their mail server and discovered that they were no longer using a unix box as their mail hub - instead their site lead had installed Exchange 5.5 and migrated everyone over to it.

        The issue was that Exchange (upon connecting to port 25) reported capabilities that it didn't actually have - amongst which was batch processing of emails (I forget the technical term - it was 25 years ago! - but in essence the sending server, instead of creating separate sessions for each email just transfers them one by one in the same session).

        At which point, Exchange gives the OK signal and then silently drops the emails.

        Fortunately, there was a way round it - just tell sendmail that, when sending to that server, don't batch-send the emails.

        It taught me a valuable lesson about Microsoft's attitudes to standards..

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    You have to wonder

    If you scattered pills outside MSFT HQ with a note saying "eat me" how many wouldn't?

    1. Our Lord and Savior Rahl

      Re: You have to wonder

      I mean I have no association with Microsoft and I would - how would I know that they hadn't been left by the forerunners to elevate one of us to global dominion - all you have to be is brave enough to try.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: You have to wonder

      Go ahead and scatter USB sticks anywhere with "FREE" marked on them and watch the mayhem unfold.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: You have to wonder

        The mayhem would really depend on what the USB devices actually were... USB storage devices containing unpleasant or unwanted content or USB killer devices that would discharge a huge burst of electricity into the USB port?

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: You have to wonder

          " USB killer devices that would discharge a huge burst of electricity into the USB port?"

          No need for that.

          I remember working one day when I got an anguished call from an Australian manager of the company where I worked. Remember, he was Australian and I was then working in the Republic of Ireland, so how did I get the call?

          It turns out he was over in Ireland sorting out some plans to move operations from there to here, or something like that, it was a long time ago. Anyway, to cut a long story short, he had apparently mistaken the land line 'phone socket for an RJ45 and plugged his laptop into the telephone circuit.

          Now the voltage on that circuit is about 48 volts so did the poor NIC and laptop no good at all. In the end I had to 'phone his network manager in Australia and try and sort out the mess. This was at about 11:30 AM our time so the manager was not amused to be disturbed at home in the evening and let me know of his displeasure.

          In the end we got his account details and set up a temporary replacement for him and that was the last we heard of the affair.

          You can't plan for stupid.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: You have to wonder

            They do look similar but an RJ11 socket is smaller than an RJ45 and it would take a bit of a feat of stupidity or brute ignorance to somehow shove an RJ45 ethernet cable into an RJ11 socket.

            If he happened to have an RJ11 cable and plugged one end into the phone socket and the other into the slightly larger RJ45 socket on his phone then that would be much easier. Although the RJ11 cable would be obviously too small for the RJ45 socket, however users...

            USB-A plugs fit just perfectly into RJ45 sockets of course...

            1. ClockworkOwl
              Go

              Re: You have to wonder

              An RJ11 fits perfectly in the centre 4 pins of an RJ45 socket, even the retaining clip works!

              I'm assuming the laptop didn't have the requisite transformer isolation...

              1. ChrisC Silver badge

                Re: You have to wonder

                Yup, got some telecoms test gear here that uses slstandard RJ45 sockets rather than RJ11s - using the former means they could take advantage of the built in LEDs to indicate the poet status during a test, vs having to fit separate LEDa or find someone willing to produce custom RJ11 sockets that also included the Leads...

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: You have to wonder

              plenty of unified building wiring uses RJ45 outlets for phone (voltage on pair 1), so it's an easy mistake to make

              Which is only ONE of the reasons ethernet is required to handle up to 1500V (more modern implementations tend to be rated for 7k5V or 10kV)

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: You have to wonder

            You can exploit it though, and it's BoFH day.

            Victim G'day mate. I've plugged my laptop into the network, and it's not working.

            BoFH: OK, what's the number on the port you're plugged into?

            Victim: Ah, it's 666. There's a PC already plugged into 665.

            BoFH: OK, let me make quick test

            <dials extension 666 to unleash 48v of ringer juice, then heads for the pub>

            Victim: Hello? Did you say 'be free my pixies'? Hello?

            I've been to a few offices where desks have been wired with RJ45 sockets for both voice and data. Repair bills presumably down to luck from users, and diligence of whoever's done the patching.

            1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

              Re: You have to wonder

              Well you might think that ...

              Phone lines are actually fairly low power - at least the phone company ones and PBX extensions that have similar characteristics. Also, they tend to use the blue pair in structured cabling while 100M ethernet used the orange and green pairs - so the 48V phone line isn't across a pair used by 100M ethernet.

              And I have, on more than one occasion, seen a network device plugged into a port that's configured with a phone line.

              Of course, with 1G ethernet, that's all four pairs - but I've seen those connected to a phone port and survive. I guess it all comes down to the "quality" of the design and components chosen - it's quite believable that something for a mobile device might use transformers (twisted pair ethernet is transformer coupled) with somewhat less capability in handling 48V across them in order to save space.

              Now, not all PBX systems are so benign. Some were notorious for feeding power down phone lines that was not significantly current limited at the PBX end - with the result that wiring errors, or connecting the wrong sort of device at th far end, could cause excessive current to flow, releasing the magic smoke from the device or the wiring.

              And also, it's now quite common to feed various DC voltages down network cables using passive methods - i.e. not with the "only feed power to a power using device" 802.11a[ft] - which can have similar consequences.

              1. DS999 Silver badge

                Re: You have to wonder

                I find it hard to believe that ethernet ports can be damaged by accidentally connecting to a phone line since 10 Mbit became obsolete. Designing against 90v at a few dozen milliamps is pretty simple - you can get worse from static electricity or floating ground voltages and those are things you have to guard against even if you are 100% sure it will never be plugged into a phone line.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: You have to wonder

                  Depends. It used to be a prank to get unsuspecting apprentices to hold wires while someone rang their bell. Can't remember the current limit, but it was enough to feel it & drive a mechanical bell at the end of the line. Which also explains why telcos want to reduce their electricity bills and have customers providing the power.

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: You have to wonder

                    You can hurt someone quite badly without even ringing the bell

                    Back EMF off a releasing relay is enough to hurt - personal experience working on wiring frames. The worst part is that getting those nips fro the wiring makes you sweat which makes the nips get more painful

                    One of the favourite games used to be "Megger the trainee" - that stopped the day a trainee broke someone's nose by way of response

                2. ChrisC Silver badge

                  Re: You have to wonder

                  Static discharge exposes hardware to a different type of stress though - it's a significantly higher voltage, but over a significantly shorter duration, than being plugged into a permanrnely energised supply.

                  And don't forget that a POTS line gives you both the permanently present DC line voltage to cope with, as well as the occasional AC ring voltage on top, and it's the latter which can really give your system (or you, if you happen to be touching the wires at the time) a bit of a tickle...

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: You have to wonder

                    The ringing is 75V p-p superimposed on the 50V DC.

                    Even ancient 10Mb/s cat3 ethernet implentations have a minimum breakdown voltage requirement 250V across the pair - "what if someone connects it to the mains or a phone line?" was thought about early on - mainly because twisted-pair ethernet was derived from StarLAN which ran on phone cables and was always at risk of such things

                    1. ChrisC Silver badge

                      Re: You have to wonder

                      Thanks, I've never needed to design an ethernet port into any of the products I've worked on so far, so wouldn't know what sort of protection they provide - interesting to learn a little about the origins of a given technology and why it's therefore designed the way it is.

                      My comment was though more of a general response to the suggestion that if something is capable of surviving a static discharge then it ought to easily cope with being hooked upto something delivering far lower voltages over a prolonged period of time.

                  2. Bodge99

                    Re: You have to wonder

                    I worked for PO/BT in my youth...

                    The belt from the back EMF (think largish capacitor) when disconnecting a very long line when wet can **REALLY** hurt!!

                    The most interesting thing that I saw when working on overhead cables "over the hills & far away" (apart from the occasional nude sunbather) was witnessing a lightning strike on the overhead cables. This was about two mles away from me.. You could see a plasma ball travelling along the cables towards me. I've never got off a pole more quickly. Sod the ladder.. I used the pole stay wire for an emergency dismount.

                    Scary!!

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: You have to wonder

            ethernet devices are specifically designed to be able to handle telephone voltages (invcluding ringing) There's far more to this that he wasn't telling you

        2. Mage Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: You have to wonder

          Or a pretty USB wireless mouse with an HID USB dongle that's malicious. Also works as a mouse.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: You have to wonder

        I have a pile of CDs that I picked up in random Silly Con Valley parking lots right around the time of the events in the article. All contain network aware malware that will run if autorun is enabled. Needless to say, so-called "security" at those companies poo-pooed me when I pointed out the obvious implications.

        Shortly thereafter I simply washed my hands of anything Redmond. Life's too short.

        How much money would YOUR company have saved if it had made the move from Windows to Linux a mere ten years ago?

    3. Dagg

      Re: You have to wonder

      Actually "do not eat me" would work better!

    4. Agamemnon
      Pint

      Re: You have to wonder

      I live in Redmond...

      ... the pills are washed down nicely with the Kool Aid.

      But now I'm compelled to test this. Microsoft campus is like a forty minute walk from my place and I haven't been to the gym in a while so total second order benefit.

      Now, how many pills do we need and of what?

      [What? This is the West Coast, Seattle is Right There, I'm certain materials are available for this... experiment. We could bring UW into it and make it Official [and do the same thing around Amazon and use Nintendo and a control].

      I got this!

      [Icon: Started early.]

  3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Never done any business with Sony since and never will

    Sony ultimately settled the case in December 2005.

    Sony may have "settled" (who with? not with me!). But I (and, I hope, many others) have never done business with Sony, in any form, ever since. And will not. They tried to hack my computer. They didn't apologise. They didn't change to remove DRM and build a business model based on freedom and respect. I have even written into my "living will" that my carers are not allowed to do business with Sony or any Sony-owned company as part of my care!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Graham Cobb - Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

      Same for me. That was the day I stopped buying anything even remotely related to Sony.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

      Same here. I get funny looks from Best Buy, Staples, etc employees when I say "no Sony stuff, thanks"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

        "Same here. I get funny looks from Best Buy, Staples, etc employees when I say "no Sony stuff, thanks" "

        Yeah the funny looks are probably because no-one asked you to have Sony stuff in the first place.

    3. usbac

      Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

      Same here. I still won't buy a Blu ray drive or player because Sony might get some kind of royalty payment.

    4. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

      By the way, this decision was a couple of years after I decided I would not do business with Adobe (no loss - I wasn't doing any business with them anyway) and HP. HP was much more serious: they made some great products but I have not bought any HP product since 2002.

      In both cases this was over them leading the misapplication of the US DMCA to software. The DMCA was (still is) an appalling piece of legislation (as is the UK equivalent) - preventing many legitimate uses of electronics on spurious grounds of copyright (particularly format shifting and ownership - which are basic concepts which should have been protected). In particular, the Sklyarov and Snosoft cases (see https://www.theregister.com/2002/08/02/hp_withdraws_dmca_threat if you weren't there).

      I still believe that without the actions of these two companies, other companies would not have been brave enough to mis-extend a law intended to protect entertainment media into the world of denying people the right to use the software they have bought in whatever ways they choose. That later led, of course, to things like preventing interoperability of interfaces or protocols, and even reverse engineering, maintenance and substitution of manufacturers components (print cartridges, etc) on spurious DMCA grounds. None of that would have happened without HP leading the way in showing how to abuse DMCA.

      So, I have never bought anything from Adobe, or from HP (since 2002), and even avoided them where possible in my professional capacity.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

        Same here.

        I have included Microsoft and Apple in that lot, too.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

        I would not do business with Adobe (no loss - I wasn't doing any business with them anyway)

        I'm sure that hurt them. They must be still regretting it came to this...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

          Same AC as above - What's with the downvotes guys? I know virtue signalling is a human right, but don't you see the irony in claiming to boycott something one doesn't use anyway?

          1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

            Re: Never done any business with Sony since and never will

            I didn't downvote you, but no I don't. I had not previously used Adobe but I made a conscious decision that I would not do so in the future (and have not, for close to 20 years). That meant, for example, I use other PDF readers. I make no claims about how much that has cost Adobe - that probably depends on how many other people acted similarly.

            In HP's case it was different: I had previously bought some good products from them but I have used other equipment ever since. I have also influenced others (for example, I always tell friends and family not to buy HP printers). Again, only small impact but I know others have done the same thing.

            The point isn't the cash impact on the companies: it is that some people choose which companies they will do business with on corporate social responsibility and civil liberties issues - not just price.

  4. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    About Sony...

    I have mixed feelings. Everything said above about Sony resonates, and I agree. On the other hand, I use a fair number of Raspberry Pis and many of them are made in the Sony contract manufacturing plant in Wales...

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: About Sony...

      Sony were just using a Windows "feature" ... it was dumb on both sides, not just Sony.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: About Sony...

        No, they weren't "just using a Windows feature". Yes, it was a stupid feature but they didn't just run some stupid advertising message or something. Sony used it to hack into and damage computers owned by other people without permission! It was a rootkit!!! The company should have been taken apart and people should have spent time in jail.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: About Sony...

          From those that don't remember this - the Sony rootkit was awful in another way too: It was very easy for other malware to piggy back on the Sony rootkit implementation and be hidden as well. Pure "genius"... firstly for the root kit and then to have it implemented in such as way that other malware could use it.

          1. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: About Sony...

            A fact that the CIA, Mossad, etc would have been very happy about, whether they were involved in its creation or not.

            And by the time this hole was finally closed, they had plenty of routes in which they certainly were involved with. Intel management engine, to name but one.

          2. doesnothingwell

            Re: About Sony...

            It gets better, Sony stole some software from another company to create their rootkit. Stealing to prevent stealing because they're the good guys.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: About Sony...

              Downvoted, because copying is not theft.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

            2. Ian 55

              Re: About Sony...

              Stole? Didn't it turn out that the author of the Sony rootkit had been asking "Hey guys, how do you create a rootkit" on Usenet or whatever the stackexchange equivalent was then?

  5. Blackjack Silver badge

    [So, any time a volume turned up (say, a network drive,) the original development code would look for autorun.inf and do what it was told before the user had a chance to intervene.

    What could possibly go wrong?]

    Can confirm that when Cybercafés were still a thing, usb sticks keep infecting and being infected by viruses that used autorun.inf.

  6. hayzoos

    Other issues

    The Sony rootkit wrote to an undocumented area of the MBR in an unsafe manner. If that area already contained something, it was likely some config data for some specialized boot loader or partition manager. By default the area when unused would contain nulls. Anything attempting to use the area should not write if there was anything besides nulls. Guess what, the Sony rootkit just wrote without checking. I do not recall hearing of any issues relating to this particular Sony rootkit behavior.

    I remember hearing about Sony going after somebody under the DMCA for advising people to just press and hold shift when inserting a Sony CD. They claimed he was a malicious hacker.

    MS did eventually provide ways to disable autorun/autoplay for individual types of drives through registry settings. The autorun/autoplay code was still active though. In the autorun.inf file one could specify three things that would be acted upon by most versions of autorun/autoplay. The obvious one is specifying an executable to run and is what wold not be run if disabled for that type of drive. One could also specify a media title that would display in Windows Explorer and an icon that would display in place of the generic Windows Explorer icon for the drive type. Even when autorun/autoplay was "disabled" for a drive type, the icon and title would be displayed. I theorized it may be possible to exploit using the icon - a bitmapped image format file. It was not far fetched, MS parsing of bitmapped image files had already proven to be flawed and exploitable. I never got around to experimenting with the autorun/autoplay handling of the icon file.

  7. hayzoos

    Just one more thing

    It was later revealed that Sony had violated the CD audio format standard yet still used the Compact Disc Digital Audio references and logo. The term and logo were themselves copyright protected and licensed. Sony violated that license. It does not matter that Sony was an original contributor to the project. The copyright licensing was overseen bay another entity. Philips (a greater contributor) issued statements admonishing Sony for these transgressions.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Just one more thing

      "It was later revealed that Sony had violated the CD audio format standard "

      I assume that this was when they deliberately introduced errors on the CD that old CD players managed to handle, but which could throw off the CDROM drives of that era? Thus preventing error free rips.

      1. Ian 55

        Re: Just one more thing

        Which you can do, provided you don't slap the CD logo on the discs.

      2. hayzoos

        Re: Just one more thing

        "when they deliberately introduced errors on the CD"

        Not the shenanigans I was referring to, but maybe. I do not recall if the CD audio standard specifically spelled out purposely inserted errors were verboten. Logically, why would somebody want to do that? Only a shyster would stoop so low.

        The violation I was recalling was the mixing of audio and data on the same CD. It is allowable as a hybrid CD but under the licensing of "CD Audio" it is not and cannot display the "CD Audio" logo, name, or other branding.

        That licensing on the "CD Audio" brand extends to the packaging such as the jewel cases. Both the original thickness and the thin jewel cases had locations on the inside corners where one would find the "CD Audio" logo. They are placed so one is right-side-up in the upper right corner and the other is upside-down in the lower left corner. The logo consists of the words "COMPACT disc DIGITAL AUDIO" in certain fonts - the font for disc being an outline font and the largest. The word COMPACT was nested above the isc of disc and next to the upper extension of the d. DIGITAL AUDIO sat entirely below the word disc. If you were to check data CDs' cases you were likely to find the "CD Audio" logo which is 1/2 to 1/3 the violation of Sony since Sony also put the logo on the CD label and cover material.

  8. david 12 Silver badge

    Autorun on D:

    I can't remember if it was XP or 98, but I can confirm that there were actual released consumer versions of Windows that would run AutoRun.Inf off the root of a hard drive.

    No damage (the USB had already been disinfected), but I discovered that when I copied the kid's USB to the spare/storage hard drive.

  9. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Stupid

    And since 1995 I was disabling Autorun. STUPID and warning people!

    The Amiga floppy auto run virus existed before 1995.

    The most absolutely stupid MS feature ever!

    Then I discovered that disabling CD autorun in the Registry wasn't enough. That USB and Network needed a different settting.

    Eventually on XP (2009?) MS issued a patch.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Stupid

      New PC a few weeks ago. One of the first things I did: Disable autorun.

      Don't need it, don't trust it.

  10. Mage Silver badge

    USB HID

    The USB HID is STILL pile of poo.

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    Windows

    Shout out to CDs

    Still use them, still buy them, still love them.

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the cloud.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shout out to CDs

      Hear hear!

      Got hundreds. Some of them got ripped to my phone, but there is nothing better than listening to a real CD on a good high fidelity stereo system.

  12. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    You have to be really effing daft to implement something like Autorun. And even dafter to admit to having done it.

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