August 25, 2007

Bioshock: Green Kryptonite

The new game "Bioshock" seems to be making waves. I saw a news article a couple of days ago that said it was really popular.

Shamus says it's also making a lot of people angry, because of out-of-control copy protection. For the moment, the best advice seems to be to stay the hell away from this game.

In fact, even stay away from the demo of the game. It installs something called "SecuROM", which is not uninstalled when the demo is uninstalled, and which remains active even when the demo is not running.

Go read about the nightmare. And be forewarned.

UPDATE:

Most people are calling SecuROM a “rootkit”. The point is debatable, (mostly because of the varying definitions of “rootkit” everyone is using) but what is clear is that the program circumvents the standard Windows logins & permissions, giving itself “admin” powers even if it was installed under a non-admin login.

How in hell did they figure out how to do that? Whatever they did, Microsoft better analyze it and plug the security hole!

UPDATE: More here from someone who seems to know what they're talking about.

After a couple of high-profile screwups of this kind, I seem to recall that Congress passed some new laws about this kind of thing. I have a sneaking suspicion that SecuROM may break those laws.

The damned thing is from Sony. Didn't they learn their lesson from the last time?

UPDATE: Here's the official word on what you have to do to uninstall SecuROM if you ran the Bioshock demo. No idea whether it actually works the way they say, or will leave your computer a fucked up mess.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 02:28 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 280 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Or just play it on the XBox 360. It's a really stunning game, and it's a shame that they marred the PC version this way.

Posted by: mparker762 at August 25, 2007 03:08 PM (3yWcu)

2

As soon as I saw Microsoft had a applet called SyncToy that installed in Vista without any permissions, I assumed the hackers would soon find out how it worked and copy it.

Shrug.

Posted by: Toren at August 25, 2007 06:41 PM (P5Syh)

3

"Or just play it on the XBox 360. It's a really stunning game, and it's a shame that they marred the PC version this way."

Or send the makers a message that we won't stand for this BS.

You'd think they'd learn after the HOMM V fiasco that people don't want their computers raped this way.

Posted by: RickC at August 25, 2007 09:34 PM (PoCOp)

4 Crud.  I'm one of those unlucky first-day buyers.  Hope to hell that someone figures out a way to yank SecuROM out of the system soon, preferably without killing the game too.

( copy protection on a *demo*?  WTF? )

Posted by: metaphysician at August 26, 2007 08:54 AM (hnYuE)

5

I've seen a number of comments on the forums Steven linked to, to the effect that 1) "so what if I have to keep the disk in the drive" and 2) so what if there's this copy protection, it's still a good game."  Both statements strike me as crazy--and the second one just encourages them to keep doing this to us.

Sure, that intrusive copy protection's no problem at all--until your CD/DVD drives disappear, and nothing you do short of reinstalling Windows makes 'em come back, because the guys who wrote the copy protection software were, to put it generously, coding out of their league.

Posted by: RickC at August 27, 2007 05:29 PM (PoCOp)

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