Regarding Ryan Naraines June 12 article “Microsoft: Trojans, Bots Are Significant and Tangible Threat” [Microsoft Sounds Malware Alarm], I take issue with the characterization of Sony BMGs rootkit as “widely considered a rootkit but one that was neither offensive nor malicious.”
The Sony BMG kit was both. It was malicious in that it sought to deny access to legally purchased data (the bits of the infected music CDs) by someone obeying the law. It was offensive in the sense of giving offense—in essence, treating a legal buyer as a criminal and too stupid to notice or care about the rootkit, as well as in the sense of seeking to deliberately damage the functioning of a PC not owned by Sony BMG.
Rootkits are rootkits are rootkits, and they are always offensive and malicious, regardless of whether the maker is a teenager or a group of corporate thugs.