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Old 09 Sep 2008, 13:58   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Well, I've always been a staunch defender of EA, even when people decry their business practices.

Yet, I honestly can't bring myself to defend this.

Upon install of Spore, and other "protected" games, EA also installs into your system what is effectively malware (same properties as) which gives itself a higher permissions rating than the admin on the computer.

Just to let that sink in....

Got that? The full implications? Good.

Apparently, Spore on Amazon is being flooded by one star review due to it containing this invasive program on it.

Taken from GameFAQ's, this is why its bad:

Okay, I would first like to say that this is on topic since it (will probably) effect EVERY person who, in the future will own Spore. The only way in which users will not be affected is if SecuROM is not included with Spore which is very unlikely as there has already been official confirmation stating that it will be included.

Second, I am not a troll. I merely wish to inform users about the good and the bad of SecuROM. I am not encouraging or discouraging any users to buy the game. I also am not encouraging or discouraging any users to pirate the game. Mainly, I do not wish to start an argument.

Okay, now that I have put up a decent flame barrier I would like to continue with my post.

Basic Information About SecuROM:

SecuROM is a program, designed by a company owned by Sony, which was created in an effort to stop the piracy of certain programs. The program itself was created with good intentions; the problem is in the way in which SecuROM goes about getting things done. SecuROM has sparked much controversy do to the way in which it goes about preventing piracy. The methods used by SecuROM are similar to the actions of malware and have been known to have negative effects on a large number of users. Basically that is SecuROM in a nutshell.

The Pros and Cons of SecuROM:

The pros and cons listed below apply to nearly all of the versions of SecuROM, specifically the newest 7.x Versions. Also, each version of SecuROM has contained at least one of the mentioned problems. Now, as for the version of SecuROM which Spore will be receiving, it is thought to be version 7.x. Version 7.x is the version included in Mass Effect Bioshock and the Sims 2 (when updated). This version still includes many (if not all) of the problems listed below.

From what I read on the Internet, mostly on GameFAQs, but also on various other forums and through the websites listed under ‘Links’, here is a list of the pros and cons of SecuROM. Take this with skepticism as I cannot prove any of it as fact. I have, however, provided links to users who claim to have had these issues in the past which I have given the label ‘Proof’, although, I myself, cannot back up any of the claims made.

Problems that SecuROM causes include but are not limited to the ones listed here.

1. SecuROM does not allow administrators full access to their PC. Not only this, but it blocks the administrator from editing certain parts of registry as well.
So, you buy a computer, an operating system and other software with your own money, but are then denied access to certain functions of it. SecuROM does this by taking access at Ring 0, thus meaning it is more privileged than the administrator which could allow it to change the rights of the administrator of the computer. Now, as a program it is not designed to change your rights, but it could, in theory, be abused by malicious users. Now, while all this is true in most versions of SecuROM, newer versions run in Ring 3, but don’t sigh in relief just yet. While SecuROM is running in Ring 3, it has still decided to take ring 0 accesses. SecuROM does this by circumventing Windows Security protocols effectively compromising your security.

2. SecuROM can interfere with the operation of hardware, specifically disc drives.
This really upsets me, paying money for hardware and then finding out that that hardware does not even work as advertised do to this crap software. What really gets to me is that uneducated users will not know what is affecting their hardware and will end up wasting money on tech support, and possibly even new hardware to replace perfectly fine hardware that appears to be functioning incorrectly due to this virus-like program that they do not know about.

3. SecuROM can interfere with the proper operation of software.
This upsets me almost as bad as how it affects hardware, if you pay for software, it should function correctly. SecuROM makes a lot of software function in ways it is not supposed to, and in some cases, cease to function at all. The programs which SecuROM is known to affect are, disc burning software (including, but not limited to, Nero Burning ROM, Alcohol 120% and Alcohol 60%), Virus and Privacy software where it forces itself past firewalls meaning it can allow for security breaches (including, but not limited to, Norton, Spysweeper, and Zone Alarm), virtually all virtual drive software and many programs created by Sysinternals.

4. The manner in which SecuROM runs can interfere with security and could possibly be abused in a manner that would allow others to gain access to private data.
Even though SecuROM is by no means a camera that sends private personal data to EA it could be abused to allow others to install something like that that could instead send data to malicious users.

5. The uninstallation of the software with which SecuROM came does not (or at least up till now, has not, and probably won’t,) allowed for a separate installation of SecuROM. (Or, at least, you cannot uninstall it without third party support.)
So, even though you get rid of the game, you still have this software on your computer. Forms of removal that do not work include, but are not limited to, removal by add or remove programs, and system restore. What is the purpose of this? What good can the software do if the software it is apparently protecting is not even there?

6. SecuROM uncontrollably runs in the background of your PC.
This means that, while SecuROM is stoppable, it is just not stopped as easily as other (legitimate) programs.

7. The manner in which SecuROM runs on your computer is similar to that of malicious software called malware, and, in fact, is so similar, that is considered by many to be malware.
Basically, SecuROM acts like malware, this could, possibly, trick some anti-virus programs into thinking it is malware and causing unneeded interruptions in their usual operation.
Proof: Read: SecuROM v 7.x

8. Upon the installation of SecuROM the user is granted very little information on the fact that the software is being installed at all.
For some reason, it would seem that they want to install the software without your permission...
Proof: Read the standard setup instructions for any (newer) EA game, the game box, and the instructions and tell me where you see SecuROM
(Sorry, none were listed on the web)

9. SecuROM only allows for a maximum of three installations to take place on different machines, or on a single machine that has had some hardware replaced, before you must call EA to reactivate your copy of the software.
It's not much of a problem, but still, I wouldn’t be too happy if I had to take time out of my day to call EA and ask them to for a reactivation just so I can play a game. Oh, yeah, and that number you have to call, it’s not free.

10. SecuROM has, in the past, even caused the games that it was supposed to protect, to malfunction.
So, your other software and hardware wasn’t enough, SecuROM needed to mess up more of your stuff, so it turns to the actual program which it is supposed to be protecting and causing errors that don’t even allow it to run. So since the functionality of the game has been completely destroyed all that’s left is SecuROM which is still messing up your other software, it seems as though you purchased malware.

11. SecuROM has been known to cause complete system failures.
This, in the worst case scenario, causes the user to have to reformat the hard drive which means you have to completely reinstall everything. Oh, and forget about backing up your data onto discs, SecuROM already destroyed your disc drives and burning software. If I make another thread like this later I will include that in the cons.
Proof: Read: The Sims controversy

12. SecuROM violates the Bioshock EULA.
The contract that you, as a user have agreed to in order to play the game is violated by SecuROM. Your rights are violated due to the fact that SecuROM is not allowing you to play the game even though you were guaranteed to be able to install the product. As a user, you are guaranteed the right to uninstall and reinstall the game as many times as you see fit as long as it is on your own machines.


1. SecuROM makes pirating games slightly harder.

It does not make it impossible to pirate, it just makes it a little harder. Games will (most likely) still be cracked and pirated within days of the release. And also, that is not even a fact, games could possibly be just as hard to pirate as they were before (and in some cases, maybe even easier)

In Closing :

As of now, not much major action is being taken against SecuROM. As much as you can do to not put yourself at risk is not buying the software with which SecuROM comes. Sadly, this includes a large amount of games. I do not, however, recommend you to pirate the game as this is illegal and can get you into major trouble. I predict that a SecuROM lawsuit will eventually take place similar to the lawsuit over the other copyright protection program, ‘XCP’, also created by Sony. Also, if you have the patience, it has been said that EA will be removing SecuROM from their products as they age. This, however, can take years and it is not know as to whether the games will be outdated by then anyways.

While you wait, there are many things that you, yourself, can do to help against. Remember, you are not powerless help educate people about the evils of SecuROM. You can make a difference.
If you wish to help, and to do something against SecuROM, please visit this page:

Besides that, I would like to leave you with this quote from the Mass Effect Community forums, "When playing your legally purchased game is more troublesome than playing a pirated copy, somebody somewhere should realize the system is fraked."

Have any questions about this post? Wish to provide feedback? Need any additional help? Or do you have a recommendation on something for me to add? Post here, I am always interested in what you have to say.
Credit to Bubbleking2, author.

Note how it will not uninstall when you remove the games, and is a right little bastard to remove?

Luckily, there is a way -


Now, I'm not trying to claim EA are the new Hitler, I'm not even trying to start a down with EA thread - I for one will keep playing Spore until I am bored with it. All I can do is ensure that all us spore users know about, and know how to remove this horrible little thing.

But for those who have it, this, you'll need to know. I'm disappointed they feel this is the only way to combat piracy, by making others suffer.

I wish I had known about this before I bought Spore, I probably wouldn't have done it. Hell, I'm half a mind to remove everything and return it anyway :
[quote]Thou shalt not crave thy neighbour

Originally Posted by Tim.
Rafe is damn sexy once he gets into his night attire.
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