From a linked item...
"The Sony rootkit can be used to hide any files from the operating system, so we think the way that Sony has implemented this is somewhat flawed," said Graham Cluley, the senior technology consultant at Sophos. "The danger is that other malware (malicious hardware) may come along which exploits the Sony rootkit."
Due to what Cluley said is a lack of malicious intent on Sony's part, Sophos is not defining the rootkit itself as malicious software, preferring instead to refer to it as "ineptware."
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