In honour of my new-found infection (and also, cos the last poll bombed).
Now that the storm over Securom has long-since blown over, has your opinion of DRM on games changed?
Gosh darn it! That blessed Securom! GAH!!!
Anyway, I did what I should have done years ago and bought my own copy of The Sims 2 base game so I could install all that shiz on my netbook instead of having to use the family PC, which always has someone staring over my shoulder while I’m trying to work. I was careful to not buy the double deluxe or whatever it’s called and get a second-hand copy of the old bog standard DVD edition. Before installing I also checked online for any references to its having SuckyROM and checked the back of the disc for the Sony DADC, which was not present. Anyway, after buying OFB (again, second-hand: screw EA if they think I’m putting money into SHERRIE DANDAN’S pocket), I thought, EA sucks, let me double-check my registry just in case. And lo and behold, that old enemy of mine was now on my new netbook!
I was like, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! They’ve got me again, nooooooooo!”. But really, I was stumped as to how the hell that crap got onto my netbook, considering how careful I’d been. If the base-game was clear (and at this point I had only installed Uni and Nightlife, which I had been safely using on the family PC, so I knew they were clear), how in the heck did that malware get installed? The only games I have on here are Baldur’s Gate (which I’ve also used safely on the old PC), Heroes III Complete (ditto), Tropico (which doesn’t even have a disc-check to run), Icewind Dale (also no SuckyROM detected after I installed that) and the Sierra city-building games.
Ahhhh! There’s the culprit I think. Pharaoh and Zeus are clear, but Emperor… I assumed that since there was no Sony DADC on the disc, and because I bought the Sold Out version, the game would be clean. But I knew that they did use SuckyROM on Caesar IV, and a bit of Interweb searching reveals that, on the original release of Emperor anyway, SecuROM was bundled with the game. So I am assuming that that is when that crap got on to my netbook.
See, I should have just pirated it to start with.
Game uninstalled and disc to never enter my DVD drive again.
I can confirm that it WAS the DSA Driving Theory Test CD that infected our PC with SecuROM again That nasty bit of malware was back on my sister’s profile, so it definitely wasn’t the Castaway this time. I CureSecurom’d her profile again, deleted cmdline-whatsitsname.dll and checked regedit. SecuROM was nuked. We then put the DSA CD in, launched the program and checked regedit again: lo and behold, Screw-u-ROM was back. However it does seem to be a ‘lighter’ version, as a lot of the things reported by Securom-infected Sims players weren’t present. Even so, I am not happy about this.
What makes this even worse is the fact that this is OFFICIAL DSA software – DSA being the Driving Standards Agency and an agent of the Department for Transport, which is a government department – meaning that an agent of the government now sees fit to infect our PCs with malware.
This is the product in question – beware guys, it’s infected, and even worse, you can’t even get a crack for it, because who would want to make one?
Update: For those who need to use this software and are wondering what to do: I’m not sure about the most recent release, but on the version my sister used, the SecuROM wasn’t as aggressive as the one from Neverwinter Nights that infected our PC the first time. So running CureSecuROM (available here) after you use it each time, and deleting cmdlineedit.dll and uaservice7.exe if present, should be enough to stop any problems. Just remember that even profiles that didn’t run the software can still get infected, so be sure to tell other users to check their profiles for the malicious files.
The next thing to do is write a very strong letter of complaint to the DSA for installing malware on your PC without your consent or knowledge, which I’m pretty sure is illegal. After all, with the crazy new EU cookie law, surely installing malware secretly is worse than a cookie file?
MOAR @ PMBD
(Actually I’m not sure if this is a specific SecuROM issue; my sister gets the same message when she plays Fable and Fable can haz no Suck-u-rom)
Utterly brilliant! It’s gone!
That was easier than I thought! There’s a non-techie way! Whew!
ETA: It looks like it might not have been a game that was responsible after all. I’ve discovered that (my sister’s) Official DSA Theory Test (i.e. the driving theory test) CD has the Sony DADC thing on it too, but most of the stuff mentioned in the MATY thread (e.g. securom folder in your settings folder, the uaservice7.exe thing) weren’t present. So maybe it was a less aggressive form of Suck-u-ROM? Still Suck-u-ROM though. Cool, so now even government owned institutions are trying to take over our PCs.
*thinks for a while*
… actually there’s nothing surprising about that at all.
ETA Part II : Actually I think it was my sister’s Castaway after all
Damn you, EA! Damn you!!
GRRRRRRRR!!! Why does no one listen to me when I say, check if it has SecuROM!!! Now I gotta wait for techie Uncle to come round and remove it cos I’m sure I’ll screw up somewhere. Or maybe I won’t bother waiting that long and give it a try anyway.
Here’s the quick way to see if your game is infected. Look at the back of the CD. I’ve even provided a picture for you.
Somewhere where I’ve shown you, in little writing, you will see the words SONY DADC. This is sekrit code for: Ha ha, l00zers!! U iz pirate! Nao all ur PC r belong to us!!
I haven’t ranted in ages. So now is the time for my sounding off!
My PC was once infected with SecuROM and we were no longer able to even backup our files (yeah, just back up our files, pictures, documents, suchlike) onto CD because SecuROM decided that anyone who wants to burn a CD is automatically a pirate and a crim. Stoopid load of rubbish EA.
Awesome quote from muridae @ MATY:
As I understand it, you only get the uaservice7.exe service installed if you’re running Bon Voyage under a limited (non-Adminstrator) account. SecuROM needs that service to give it administrator-like privilege in an account that shouldn’t have that, which to me is one of the more worrying low-level activities it gets up to on your computer.
Okay, rant over. Here are a few links for those who want to rant, or who might need a lil more convincing as to why SecuROM is NOT good for your PC. In fact, it is not even good for the publishers who stick this s___ on their customers’ PCs, and it’s about time they realised it.
Simmers Against SecuROMReclaim Your Game
- SecuROM must be destroyed forum
- Noukie’s SecuROM info
- How to Remove SecuROM and still play the game @ MATY
No, my problem isn’t really with Maxis, but that beyond-a-joke publisher, EA. The last TS2 expansion pack, Freetime, is released soon here in the UK, and EA have seen fit to bundle that SecuROM malware with that too, despite the thousands of complaints they’ve received on the matter. What a joke.
Why can’t EA get it into their heads that they can stick all the Securoms they want onto their discs, it will do absolutely feck all to stop people pirating the game? EA, you fools, by bundling malware with your games all you are going to do is alienate your genuine customers, and push them towards real piracy, because why should your customers hand over £17 so you can screw up their PCs? My computer was previously infected with SecuROM, after someone installed NeverWinter Nights (no warning on that game either). My CD-RW consequently lost the ability to burn CDs, and we had no idea why. It was only after we reinstalled Windows because of a soundcard problem that the CD-RW drive started working again. Why do games publishers feel they have the right to mess up our computers – and deny us the right to burn perfectly legal CDs – to ‘protect’ a game most people have no intention of copying and bandying around anyway?
Copy-protection does nothing to stop pirates – why does EA think they will succeed where everyone else has failed? Pirates will always find ways to get round copy-protection, downloading an illegal copy of Bon Voyage is as easy as easy!
In other words, you morons, you’ve shot yourselves in the foot.
Oh, Pescado, you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth:
Not only is it [copying/sharing CDs] unpopular as a method, but it is also the method most likely to actually generate sales! The “casual” disk sharer is most likely to buy his own at some point. The veteran e-pirate is not only unlikely to do so, but strongly discouraged from doing so by the superiority of the counterfeit product that he clearly knows how to acquire. A short-sighted move like this forces customers that run into problems to learn the ways of the pirate, and pretty soon they join the Dark Side in frustration. By taking that sale now, the company costs itself future sales, an incredibly short-sighted move. Better to lose a sale in the present for sales in the future than to permanently alienate customers while simultaneously teaching them to be pirates to make what they have bought work!
Consider: A user who borrows a disk from a friend, with no CD check, probably won’t buy the game NOW…but he might in the future, when he has to reinstall it, or buy the expansion pack now that he has the game, and is no better equipped to be a pirate later than he was before. A customer p***ed off by the game NOT WORKING that has to go find a crack has now learned some dangerous knowledge and has a hostile disposition. It is not a customer that is pleased with your product and likely to buy future products.
– Pescado, Booty King, from MATY
Complaining to EA about the crap they bundle with their software doesn’t work. The only – ONLY – way to get the message across is to vote with our wallets. If sales go down enough, EA will finally wake up to their customers’ demands. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen, as many Sims players – especially the younger ones with their ‘pester-power’ – simply don’t care what rubbish EA fobs us off with – because they just have to have the latest EP. It’s quite a sad state of affairs, really. But EA have definitely lost me as a customer.
Nouk will tell you:
EA is censoring info like this, it will not be found on their main Sims2 Page! But why, you may ask?
Well, because they installed SecuROM (anti piracy software) without the user’s consent, and it is causing huge problems they don’t wish to own up to. Instead, they deny the existence of these problems, calling them unfounded basically calling their own clients liars.
EA has been actively deleting threads at the official forum of people trying to inform other users about what SecuROM is, what it does, and that it has been illegallly installed on your computer.
Visit Noukiesims2 for the rest!
The How-to-remove-it thread @ MATY