Computer Crime Research Center


Microsoft protecting its media

Date: September 17, 2006

Microsoft Corp. is scrambling to update its Windows Media software after a hacker released a program that circumvents a safeguard designed to prevent people from freely copying digital movies and songs.

The effort began weeks ago, after a hacker released a program dubbed FairUse4WM that strips digital rights protection from media files distributed by companies like Movielink and Inc., which launched a video downloading service last week.

The Redmond-based software maker released its first fix on Aug. 28. The hacker quickly released another version of the program, promoting it on Internet message boards as a way to allow "fair use" of purchased digital media files.

Marcus Matthias, a senior product manager in the Microsoft division that includes Windows, said the company is "actively working on an update" and keeping digital content providers informed about its progress.

Matthias had no estimate of how long it would take Microsoft to come up with its next update.
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