AOL users face threat from Sony program

The much-maligned copy protection program that Sony BMG Music Entertainment put on CDs last year is still posing a threat to computer users running certain versions of AOL or PestPatrol anti-spyware software, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the glitch might cause a computer's CD-ROM drive to be disabled, according to the Texas attorney general's office, which said that the problem was discovered by officials who had been testing the XCP copy-protection technology as part of the state's lawsuit against Sony BMG.

State investigators found that if a CD with XCP technology were loaded on a computer running AOL's Safety and Security Center software, the program's anti-spyware feature would attempt to delete the XCP components, but often while also disabling the CD-ROM's configuration in the PC's operating system.

The same glitch surfaced on computers running CA Inc.'s PestPatrol separately from AOL, the state said.

CA and AOL were informed of the glitch last month and had made available a software patch to fix it, the report said.

In a statement, Sony BMG said it worked with AOL and CA to resolve the issues with their software and noted that it had made a software patch and uninstaller program for XCP available on its Web site, according to the report.

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